By Amy Bonaccorso
I’m one of the first married women in recent memory to write a dating guide for Catholics: How to Get to 'I Do' - A Dating Guide for Catholic Women. It is based on my experiences dating in the DC area.
The dating guides I read before had credibility problems. For instance, some advice was dispensed by priests and lifelong singles. You can’t sing the blues if you haven’t had your heart broken, and they were telling others how to handle relationships in the modern era when they weren’t married themselves. My book and articles are intended to inject a more realistic perspective into the highly idealized world of Catholic dating. The need for such a book seemed obvious, but I had to be strategic about getting a contract.
My road to publication was paved with a year of platform building. I launched a blog in 2008 and wrote articles to test my audience. Those early efforts earned warm support from Catholicmatch.com. However, literary agents at the American Independent Writers Conference that year did not understand this book, even when it was pitched for “Christian” women. I took the rejections hard, and laid off the book concept for nearly a year.
In 2009, I decided that I’d give myself a finished book proposal as a birthday present. I worked indoors during some lovely spring days. When I queried, I targeted small religious publishers. An offer came within a few weeks. I used an attorney for contract negotiation support, but not an agent.
My muses handed me this book in about six months. It was both exhilarating and brutal. Some nights, I put my head down, and then had to get up to write because my drill sergeant muses would not shut up and let me sleep! My best ideas came that way, so sometimes it’s worth it to obey your marching orders.
The book is getting international attention and I am regularly on radio programs. The eBook edition is the first for my publisher. Some of my ideas are “new” for the Catholic scene, and have highlighted the tension between faith and allowing writers to explore, question, and introduce fresh ideas to cyclical or dogmatic discussions.
I prefer reading about musicians and spirituality, and am currently reading The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.
My second book will be a candid guide for job seekers and careerists on navigating the federal government.
Amy Bonaccorso was born in Washington DC and grew up in the metro area. She is a senior communications professional with the federal government and holds a BA in History from George Mason University and MA in Library Science from the Catholic University of America. She is the author of numerous articles and the book, How to Get to ‘I Do’ – A Dating Guide for Catholic Women (Servant Books). Amy likes her Apple Macbook, Starbucks, fine dining, cats, cars, vinyl records, and has an interest in health and wellness. You can learn more about her and her writing at www.amybonaccorso.com or by reading about her in the DC Catholic Standard.