The Breaking Good Podcast is Becoming a Book!
From the Producer: THANK YOU to everyone who’s listened, shared, and reviewed this podcast. If you haven’t yet left a review/rating please do so wherever you get your podcasts–and be sure to share this episode update with a friend. To follow along behind-the-scenes in the making of this book, subscribe to Dana’s email list.
Now, for the announcement:
From Publisher’s Marketplace Deal Highlights: Professor and minister Dana Trent’s VERMILLION: A MEMOIR OF REGRET, RESENTMENT, AND REDEMPTION IN FLYOVER COUNTRY, set in the rural Midwest, a memoir of childhood drug running, homelessness, con artistry and family that speaks directly to the soul of many adults who have struggled with regret, resilience, and the meaning of home to Penguin Random House by Mark Tauber at The Watermark Agency.
Why a book? Why now?
The theme of the Breaking Good podcast was about reconciling with shame and home. Many listeners reached out to us and shared their own stories of regret, resentment, trauma, poverty, mental health challenges. This is not just about reconciling my own specific shame of my past–but this project is about meeting people where they are so they can do the same. Read about my back story here.
We are creating something useful and good from the ashes.
Who’s this book for?
People who want to move from regretful to resilient but aren’t sure how. Anyone who’s struggling with reconciling their past in order to live fully in the present. It’s for those of us who have felt disconnected from family and hometowns. It’s about how catastrophically damaged relationships can still be redeemed. It’s for the two-thirds of Americans affected by some challenging childhood or adolescent circumstance including divorce.
What can we expect from the chapters?
The chapters will unravel the true story about characters who mess up, transform, redeem, and change. It’s a unique, empathetic-yet-unflinching tour of rural poor faithful people whose very messy lives have a lot to teach us.
What’s the book’s tone?
It will definitely be sensitive to readers affected by divorce, trauma, and shame. But it will also entertaining because there’s levity that comes from the absurdity. And that levity will help readers breathe through the book–otherwise it’s so heavy of a topic none of us can make it through the chapters.
Will this book be about faith, too?
It won’t be a Jesus-Saves or Churchy memoir, but faith is a through line. God and faith are implicit characters of my story, which impacts my journey of regret, resentment, and redemption. This book will speak to the “religious” and/or “spiritual, but not religious.”
Why do we need this particular book?
Because regret, resentment, and rage keep adult children like me from making peace with the people and places that have shaped them. This is a true story about a preschool drug dealer who escaped her rural Indiana life—only to find that no one can really “make it” until they reconcile with where their story began: home. But how do you go home when home is full of pain? How do you return to a place that is triggering? With strong odds against me, how did my pain-points pivot to realization and resilience?
We all know someone who is struggling with regret, shame, and trauma–even if they haven’t yet told us about it. Statistically, over 2/3 of Americans are. Send this podcast to a friend whether you suspect it speaks to their experience, or just simply entertains them. My hope is that ultimately this book is going to rip the Band-Aid off of us thinking we have to hide our shame.
Will you share the book-writing process with us?
Over the next several months, I will be writing the draft. I’ve got loads of letters, photos, court records, military records, medical records, and memories detailing my parents’ lives. It’s such an honor to have their lives in my hands, and I want to share what it feels like to be in this process, putting together these fragments of fragile lives that not only tell their story but also my own.
How can we follow along?
Subscribe to my newsletter where I’ll share an insider’s sneak peek of the book each month and follow me on Instagram @jdantrent and Facebook J. Dana Trent Author. Stay tuned for pre-order information.
From the Producer: So there you have it. The Breaking Good podcast is turning into a book, tentatively titled Vermillion, published by Penguin Random House, tentatively scheduled for Feb 2024. Listen to the full announcement here.