My Big News

Hardcover book gutter and pages

Sheesh, I don’t even know how to say this, because I know that when I say it, it’s going to finally feel real.  I’ve been living in this little dream world where I have to keep pinching myself and I’m sure I’ll wake up and it’ll all go away.

But when I tell you, it’ll be out there and real and not just this really great dream but also my life, my favorite life ever.  I’m currently experiencing a butterfly epidemic in my tummy.

Remember how I was writing a book about this whole crazy craft of finding mom friends and how it’s like dating?  Well, I wrote it.

I poured my whole weird self into it.  It’s quirky and geeked out and I love my bouncy book baby.  It’s this little piece of me, with everything I know about mom dating, lots of my crazy stories, and stories collected from some of you.  I wrote it like I live, with my favorite Bible verses and movie quotes hanging out together on the same pages, like I’m talking to you over a cup of coffee while our kids trash my house.

And Zondervan is going to publish it.

Zondervan.  My shelves are lined with Zondervan books.  And now my quirky little words are going to be in one.

(Pause for mental freak out.)

This week they flew me up to Michigan to film a video trailer for the book.

YOU GUYS.  I can’t even pretend to be cool about this.  I was snapping photos like a tourist.  They had a welcome sign at the front desk for me.

And please.  Just in case you think I made my own sign and I’m making all this up, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do:

See?  Not making this up.  Holy cow, y’all.  This is for realsies.

I had to wear this badge:

In case you’re wondering, that’s my “Are you freaking kidding me with the AUTHOR thing?!?” face.  I tried to act like this kind of thing happens to me every day and I’m totally calm about having my DREAM CAREER.  For about two seconds.  Then I just started happy clapping and jumping up and down.

The working title of my book is Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends.  I have channeled all my awkwardness into this baby.  It’s an appropriate title.

So, about that trailer video shoot.  So fun.  My book made the big plannery whiteboard thing (That’s a technical term we authors use.).

There I am pointing to “Women Are Scary” and looking kinda scary while doing it.  That’s my “Are you serious this is my life?” face.

We had so much fun with this video.  First, I had to talk without using my hands.  I thought they were going to have to duct tape my arms to my side.  In playback, I noticed that I just gestured emphatically with my head.  We filmed all these cutaways where I’m making overly-intense eye contact and using funny voices.  I am such a nerd, a happy, happy nerd.

After shooting the video, I met the Zondervan team.  I tried really hard not to geek out about these amazing people who make books I love.  They showed me the Wall of All the Books where my book will go and I almost passed out.

Then I went to a yummy celebratory dinner at this farm-to-table place.  I felt like I was on vacation, cuz seriously, how often do busy moms get to go to fancy restaurants that don’t even have kids’ meals?!?  I don’t usually take food photos, but yeah, this was so pretty that I had to.  Ima Instagram the crap outta this later, mkay?

Chicken livers, my favorite.  Don’t hate; those girls were excellent.

And then I signed my first book contract ever.

That’s me trying not to cry/laugh hysterically.  I held it together, like a boss.

So, yeah.  Okay, now it feels real, now that I’ve told you.  The book’s coming out next spring, so, you know, go ahead and plan on packing it for spring break or summer beach vacation.  I also organized it so that you can fit in a chapter while breastfeeding, waiting during your child’s ballet class, or sitting in the carpool line at preschool.  You’re welcome.

As everything unfolds, I’ll keep you guys posted.  If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, you know, well, you could always subscribe below and then we can email each other.

I just want to say thank you, thank you thank you thank you, for every email or comment, for clicking and liking and reading and sharing and relating.  You know this is because of you, right?  Do you get that, how important you are to me, to writers?  Way important.  Way.

I love writing.  I sit in my basement and write my little fingers off every day.  But there have been times over the last few years of juggling blogging and parenting when I’ve thought about giving up, when I’ve wondered why I’m still up writing when I could be dragging my tired body to bed.  And then one of you would message me or email or comment, and we’d have that connection, and you’d remind me why I write, and why I write publicly, for everyone to see my junk, all my messy musings and life stuff.  It’s because we’re connected, because we’re all working out our parenting, our faith, our lives, and somehow we’re better together.  We need each other.  We’re not alone.  And I’m so grateful for you.

So that’s my big news.  I think really the only thing left to do is show you my happy dance.  So, let’s get it on.  (My dog photo-bombed the video while, um, giving himself a bath.  I can’t even try to be this awkward.  It just happens.)

featured image from Horla Varlan,

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  • Hilary

    Woo hoo!! Congratulations!!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you! Woo-hooing with you!

  • Ashley

    This is so exciting. I geeked out with you at the first mention of publishing. What a dream come true. I hope I’ll have a similar story some day! OH, boy. Zondervan. Published. Hoo boy. Congratulations!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you! Squeal!!!

  • Melanie W


    • Melanie Dale

      Best word ever. Yes.

  • Jocelyn

    There are no words for the awesomeness of this post, your news, the dance…everything! Congratulations!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  • Kimberly Thompson

    I’m pretty sure that music video is the best thing I’ve ever seen

    • Melanie Dale

      I can hear you laughing at me through the computer. ;)

  • danielle riebel

    You are amazing. Congratulations on the book deal!!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you so much, Danielle.

  • Erica

    SUCH amazing news! Congratulations! I am freaking out a bit for you… ZONDERVAN! A contract! The wall of books! Way to go, Melanie! Also, I heartily approve of your choice of happy dance music.

    • Melanie Dale

      Bless. Thank you!!!! It gets in my head and makes me want to jump more…but now I’m tired.

  • Awesomemom

    Congrats! You were right it was totally worth the wait. My kids were entranced by your dog licking his butt in the background of your dance video.

    • Melanie Dale

      My absolute favorite part. You can’t make this stuff up.

      • Awesomemom

        I just thought it was hilarious that here you were being a total goof and their eyes move past that to a small dog behind you. I didn’t even notice until they said something.

  • Dayle Allen Davis

    Wow! Super wonderful deserved congratulations to you!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you!!!

  • Christy Myerscough

    Oh my word. The dance! HYSTERICAL! Congratulations!!!

    • Melanie Dale


  • ATerribleHusband

    Such great news! Congratulations!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you!! And now I have to google why you’re terrible.:)

      • ATerribleHusband

        Ha! Just google “my husband is a moron” and you’ll find me at the top of the results. Yes… my parents are proud….

  • Heather Ellis Shields

    You are my favorite. Congratulations, ZonderWoman! Can’t wait to read a whole book-full of your hilarity. And the dance? YES.

    • Melanie Dale

      Aww, thank you thank you. Can’t wait for you to read it!! More awkward videos where that came from, for sure. Too fun.

  • Elisa Restea

    so excited for you Melanie! Let us know as soon as we can purchase a copy (or copies, rather…this will be a great gift for all my lady friends) :)

    • Melanie Dale

      Yay! Thank you in advance for all your purchased copies!!! :) I will keep you posted, for sure.

  • Off The Cuff Cooking

    5 things:
    1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That’s awesome with an extra side of awesome-sauce (like a veloute, if you want). That’s a technical term we food-bloggers use.
    2. You’re the cream of the crop, you rise to the top… (I can’t even hear a fanfare like that without launching into House of Pain, so YES for doing your happy dance to that song. I think that makes us “old” and stuff.)
    3. You have to love any awkward-happy dance that involves both the Running Man, the Roger Rabbit and a modified Charleston. Well done, Melanie, well done!
    4. We were doing goofy dances in our kitchen last night – to big 90’s club hits like “What is Love, Baby Don’t Hurt Me” and “No Limit” … and there was no shame. Another one we launch into frequently is “3 a.m. Eternal” by the KLF. They’re gonna rock ya.
    5. You’re inspiring me to finish my freakin’ novel that I started writing 10 years ago (no lie– in 2004.) But never quiiiite completed.

    Over & out.

    • Melanie Dale

      1. Thank you and I will google that v-word, you gourmet, you. :)
      2. We are so old. And I’m totally okay with it.
      3. Excellent job identifying my 90s dance moves. I also threw in the Freddy for my mom.
      4. No. Shame.
      5. Yay! Finish it!

  • Cindy Foles Bradley

    SOOOOOO proud of you. I did my own little happy dance in your honor.

    • Melanie Dale

      Yay! Thanks, and I’d like to see that. ;)

  • Sarah D. Gorrell

    Yahoo! Yippee! Can’t wait to get my hands on your book! I’m celebrating with you on the West coast this morning.

    • Melanie Dale

      Yay! Sarah, thank you!!!

  • SDP

    Are you doing the Freddy? Amazing. This. Is. Happening.

    • Melanie Dale

      It so is, and I love you to death for knowing the Freddy. My mom taught me these important life skills.

  • Kathryn Helmers

    THE best author celebration I have ever witnessed, bar none. PLUS she doesn’t have a manuscript delivery deadline because SHE ALREADY DELIVERED IT. Yay Melanie!!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you, Kathy, my awesome agent. You rock my face off. I’m so grateful for you. And thanks for making me bust out my whole manuscript. :)

  • Deborah Kirby

    All I can say is … CONGRATULATIONS!!!! … and it couldn’t be happening to a more wonderful woman!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you, Debbie!!!

  • Jennifer Schuchmann

    You’re adorable! So happy for you.

    • Melanie Dale

      Jennifer, thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

  • Brenda

    Congratulations Melanie! So extremely happy for u!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you!

  • Tiffany

    Congratulations!!! I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out!!!!!!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you, Tiffany!!!

  • Rachel Foss

    i have a big stupid smile on my face after watching your happy dance. The whole story is so incredible and beyond “cool.” Good on ya!!

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you! I love stupid smiling!

  • Ashlee

    I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAKING OUT FOR YOU! Literally smiled reading every word of this. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ!!!

    • Melanie Dale

      I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO READ IT, TOO!!!!! Thanks for joining me in total freak-out mode!!!!!!!!!

  • Sheila

    Best celebratory video ever!! ( You always look like so much fun to be around!) Congratulations to you Melanie!!!





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