My First Published Book is about… the Pope

Text: Julie Schwietert Collazo
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons
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I can finally share some news I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks: I’m having a book published!

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.

If I ever indulged any fantasies about the subject of my first book,* I can absolutely guarantee you that I never ever imagined I’d be writing about… the Pope.

Not for my first book.

Not ever.

But life is funny that way. Opportunities arise, curiosity is sparked, and off you go on an adventure you never imagined you’d have.

That adventure’s even better when you have a partner, and in this project, mine has been my friend, writer Lisa Rogak, who invited me to work on this book with her. It’s been a wild few weeks, during which I have read nearly every homily, speech, letter, and book Jorge Mario Bergoglio–now, Pope Francis– has written in Spanish since 1999. Lisa has done the same for English-language interviews and post-conclave homilies.

The result of this immersion in the Pope’s body of writing is our book, Pope Francis in His Own Words, being published by HarperCollins in the UK and by New World Library in the US. You can pre-order the US edition here and the UK edition here. If you’re in another part of the world, don’t worry! A number of countries have signed on to publish their own editions; these currently include Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, with more to come.

I suppose I'm forever linked to Pope Francis now....
I suppose I’m forever linked to Pope Francis now….

I’m also thrilled that this book project involved Francisco in much more than his behind-the-scenes role of keeping me sane during (and, especially, after) bleary-eyed all-nighters. He was instrumental in translating from Spanish to English with me (and in translating from English to Spanish, as we’ve delivered a Spanish-language manuscript to our publisher in Spain). For his hard work, he’ll be receiving a publication credit as translator.

I’ll be writing more about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of this book’s incredibly quick evolution on my writing and editing blog, Cuaderno Inedito, so if you’re interested in the back story (including why I was asked to work on this project and why I enjoyed it so much), then check that out in the next few days.

*Honestly, I’m not sure I ever have; I’ve long been told by many folks, “You should write a book!”, but for just as long, I’ve held the conviction that being able to tell some good stories doesn’t necessarily mean you should write a book.