Holy Curiosity Jumps the Pond

It usually take a bit for a book to cycle into the international market. Apparently Holy Curiosity has begun to make its way. Two weeks ago, I did an interview with Premier Radio in the UK – and this month a very kind review landed in Christianity Magazine, a British periodical.

Also, in other international news, this week I’m in the middle of a three week stint where I am doing six 15 – 20 minute interviews for Open House, a weekly radio program airing on 300 stations with 600,000 listeners. Mainly, though, it’s just fun talking to a thoughtful guy with a really cool accent. I’ll post later when the interview audio is available.

WMUZ Detroit

I have a half-hour or so interview tomorrow on WMUZ Detroit @ 2:35 p.m. (EST).

Other than my sis, bro-in-law and two nieces, I don’t know that I have that many connections around the Motor City, so you can listen online if you have any interest.

4 Years Later, Holy Curiosity Hits the Shelves

I can’t wait to share this day with you. I’m really excited.

After four years of work and frustration and joy, my third book (Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions) has hit the shelves. This book has been percolating for a while, even while other projects have been released. This one took some time to work its way into my soul, to find its voice. In Restless Faith, I gave space to my honest questions about faith and God. However, I was drawn to Holy Curiosity when I began to realize that I wasn’t the only one with questions – Jesus had a few of his own, questions he would like to ask me.

As I made my way through the Gospels, I was intrigued on multiple levels: 1) how Jesus often asked a question rather than providing an answer 2) how Jesus (God in flesh) could be truly curious – not using it as a ruse or simply a teaching technique, but truly curious 3) how this curiosity speaks to our deep human need for connection, for relationship – we humans simply aren’t curious enough of one another’s stories, and Jesus models for us another way.

So, I rummaged around 9 of Jesus’ questions (for example: Who Condemns You?, Why Are You Afraid?, My God, Why Have You Abandoned Me?, Are You Confused?, What Do You Want?) and tried to hear them fresh, wondering what those questions would look like in my context, in my story. Where would these questions take me? How would I hear them, and what would I do with them?

I’m writing to ask for your help. Common wisdom says that this community, my blog friends, will be the front lines of whether or not I’m able to spread the word. This publishing thing really is all about networks and friends and grass-roots. Would you consider helping one or more of the following ways?

[1] Would you consider purchasing my book on Amazon today?
If enough people buy in a short time frame, it garners attention. I’d love to hit the top 1,000 for a day. Maybe even some Christmas purchases? The Amazon discount is about as good as you will find, and if you spend $25 the shipping is even free. Please use this link for your purchase.

[2] Would you post a review on Amazon?

[3] Perhaps most importantly, would you consider passing this info (or your version) along to 10 of your friends?
Word of mouth is my best chance at generating interest.

Also, in the next few days, a podcast of the book release event at New Dominion Bookshop as well as a sample chapter should be posted. Thanks for considering helping…


Party @ New Dominion

If you are near C’ville (or if you’re up for a road trip), Holy Curiosity will release @ New Dominion Bookshop Thursday night, October 16th @ 6.00 p.m. We’ll have a reading, some Q and A and a signing. Maybe Seth will dance for us if he gets amped up. New Dominion is on the downtown mall. Just come and look for the party.

For the rest of us, I will post here as soon as the book is available on Amazon – it will be a huge help if a mass of people purchase the book within a few days. I’d love to nudge past some of the 1980’s chemistry textbooks in the sales rankings…

And, a while back, we had a small contest to give-away four early galley copies of the book. Melissa Hansen snagged one of them, and here are her kind remarks:

What an amazing gift to be able to hear a speaker’s and a writer’s voice develop. Winn is a dear friend and shepherd and it has truly been my privilege to hear his voice grow, change, and deepen as his own journey has taken him to new places.

Holy Curiosity, in my opinion, is hearing his writer’s voice at a new level. With the ending of each chapter, I longed to continue reading, to hear more of his heart and what he would say, entwined with the questions of the Christ. If I have any complaint about the book, it is that it was too short. I wanted to continue to hear more of what Winn would say in his Winn-way with his redeemed heart discussing Jesus’ questions.

It was also interesting for me to read Holy Curiosity because I had been a part of the community where Winn first began to explore Jesus’ questions in a sermon series. I enjoyed the series, but I enjoyed reading Holy Curiosity much more. Perhaps the difference is that the ideas were taken to the next level, or perhaps the fact that I was alone with the book rather than in a community of listeners. But no matter what, I found that my own experience echoed in the characters of Scripture to whom Jesus asked these profound, soul-searching questions. I found my struggles, heartache, sin, and searching in Christ’s questions and I also found something of who God is forming me to be (and has been forming me to be) in the encounters Winn explores. It was a profound experience when I would allow Christ to speak through words he spoke long ago in a very different context.

Holy Curiosity will be a book I will re-read and which will shape my understanding and knowledge of who Christ is and His loving approach toward others as well as myself. I hope you also find truth and life in Winn’s words as he echoes the heart of Christ toward humanity. I know if you take your time and allow the words to speak to you, they will speak, and Jesus’ questions from hundreds and hundreds of years ago, will touch your soul in ways you never imagined.

Thank you, Winn. What a privilege to hear your voice again.

{another response went out to the facebook group and more will follow – join us over there…if you’re curious}

John Blase On Holy Curiosity

John Blase is an editor for a publishing house and a fine writer. You can catch him most days on his blog. He recently wrote some kind words about Holy Curiosity.


As an editor in Christian publishing, I read a lot of manuscripts every week. Some are handsome, some are plain, as we are. But a few, every once in a while, are good. I’d like to go on public record and say that Holy Curiosity by Winn Collier is good.

E.B. White described that pig-lovin’ spider this way: “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” One gets that feel when reading Winn’s new book.

I could go on at length about this book, but I won’t. I’m an editor. I’ve got standards to maintain. So, here’s the approach of “where 2 or 3 are gathered”:

Number 1 – What I felt throughout Winn’s book was “spaciousness, room to grow.” In this age and day of books, most of them tell me what to think or not to think, what to feel or not to feel. Winn’s words allowed me room to ponder; such as he practices, he gives to us. There was no rush to get to the point or make sure I “get it” – no, these pages achieved an unforced rhythm. Permission to think/doubt/and wrestle with angels granted.

Number 2 – Winn quotes his wife and sons just as much, if not more, than he quotes Augustine, C.S. Lewis, or Bruner. Let me raise a glass to that modus operandi and declare HERE! HERE! A thread throughout this book is the necessity to keep on going; not a worship of the future, but an awareness of that’s where we’re headed. By paying attention (a form of prayer) to those voices closest to him, Winn demonstrates the ability to be formed by the past but not live there. No, he’s living with Mrs. Collier and their two sons, now, in the present. You may not think much of this point, but I read authors every day who cram quotes from dead folks in their books like teenagers from the 60s in phone booths. It’s kinda impressive at first and then it’s just weird. Thanks, Winn, for resisting that temptation.

Number 3 – A transparency exudes this book. Winn uses words like “exude” – so hang on. But, it’s a transparency that’s not exhibitionist. Winn doesn’t strip down to the buff, but he does tell us he used to part his hair down the middle and wear pink oxfords. And in the economy of holy curiosity, sometimes that’s enough to satisfy.

O.k. One last word – I was also struck by the belief that this author really loves Jesus. And that is not a slight thing. In fact, it may be the thing.

Thanks, Winn.

Invitation: Be an Insider and Get a Free Book

So, I’ve made an arrangement with my publisher – and I’m pretty excited. I get to share, with a few of you, my new book – two months before it is available to the public.

I have four galley copies of Holy Curiosity that I can give away this week. Galley copies are the pre-publication manuscript of a book. The galley will have the full text in it’s almost-completely edited form. This is the copy that goes out to various media types and publishing types and sometimes to other writers or celebs who are considering endorsing it. It’s the copy I’m looking at today making final edits.

So, when you get your hands on this little baby, you are truly an insider. It will excite you so much, you are almost certain to levitate.

If you receive a copy, this is what you are agreeing to:

[1] Read through the manuscript by August 15th

[2] Post your thoughts on the book here on my blog and on Holy Curiosity’s Facebook group (and on your blog as well, if you have one)

In return, you will get to read Holy Curiosity before everyone else – and, best of all, my publisher will send you a free copy of of the book when it releases in October.

If you are interested, then shoot me a quick email by Tuesday night (July 8th @ 12 p.m. EST) answering this question: What intrigues you about exploring the sorts of questions Jesus asked the friends and strangers he encountered?

I will pick 4 entries, and Baker will send you the galley. And then a copy fresh off the presses in October!

[also, here is an endorsement that came in from Leonard Sweet for Holy Curiosity. He was obviously quite generous, and I am very thankful]

Winn Collier is one of the few young authors writing today who is as comfortable around Thomas Aquinas as the Simpsons, Soren Kierkegaard as Anne Lamott, Martin Luther as N. T. Wright. With a curiosity that embraces the great and the grating, Collier takes the reader on a joyous journey of discovery: each of us is part of God’s answer to each of Jesus’ questions. {Leonard Sweet}

A Couple Pounds of Curiosity

Yesterday, the DHL carrier handed it to me in our driveway: the final layout manuscript for Holy Curiosity. It’s a lot of paper, a pile that represents three and half years of sweat and passion and frustration. This book asked a lot of me. I gave what I had; I hope it was enough. I’m excited about it either way.

I was outside with the boys when it arrived. “Daddy, you’re a good writer of books,” Wyatt said. Nothing more I need to hear…

Kind Words for Holy Curiosity

What??? Three days, three posts? I’m getting a little carried away.

Lots happening, though.

Recently, I received a gracious endorsement for Holy Curiosity from Phyllis Tickle, a woman I immensely admire. She is a wise, artistic voice who, in addition to her own profound writing, has offered the church a great gift with her collection of The Divine Hours.

Winn Collier has once more produced a very loving, gentle, enticing book of practical, but substantial theology. That is a rare feat, and in this case, also a very grace-filled one. {Phyllis Tickle}

I’m humbled and a little giddy that Phyllis and a few others would endorse and encourage my writing. I’ll pass others along as they come, so you can share in my joy.

One more thing – if you do Facebook, I recently started a new group for the book. Just jump into the groups section and search for “Holy Curiosity” (creative, I know).

Holy Curiosity

This, my friends, is an exciting day. Today, I’m giddy because I am able to unveil to you the cover for my new book, Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions. I’m excited about this book. Though it follows a different style, it is in some respects a sequel to Restless Faith. In Restless, I allowed myself space for brutal honesty about some of my questions for God. In Holy Curiosity, I interact with the strange sensation I met when I discovered that God had a few questions for me.

Touring Jesus’ many conversations, I was intrigued with how many times, rather than offering answers or launching instructions, Jesus posed a friend or a stranger a question. Often, too, the question was not merely some rhetorical device but it was asked because Jesus was genuinely curious what was in someone’s soul.

Jesus with questions? God in the flesh – curious?

I’ll be sharing more about the book along the way. Baker won’t release it until the Fall, and so you might actually get tired of hearing about it. I’ll have some plans for how to purchase it so we can get the most impact on its release day. Stay tuned.