For the past thirteen years, I’ve been working, in some capacity, with high school students. Before that I pretty much was a high school student. Give or take a few years. I really like them. They laugh easily. They eat freely. They do random things that don’t really seem to have a purpose. They’re fun.

They also, for the most part, are just like adults. They are needy, broken, smart, and lonely. They just aren’t always as polished and polite about it. But they’re learning to be, and that’s what scares me the most.

In the winter of 2009, I started work on a book for high school girls, a book I wished I had in high school, a book that said more to me as a believer than, Don’t have sex with your boyfriend or, Just think about what Jesus would do. I was a good girl with good intentions, and I wanted a book that gave me hope more than just be good. I was already doing okay with that, and it had me miserable.

When I pitched that book idea to an editor that summer at a writing conference, she liked the idea and took it back to her editorial team. It went through all the necessary channels and passed all the necessary people until one day in early November of that same year, I got The Phone Call That Changed Everything.

She said they liked my book idea.

She said they wanted to publish it.

But first, she said they wanted me to write it for adults, not kids.

Adults? Like, grown ups and junk?

I can’t do that. “Sure!” I can’t write for adults. “Great idea!” Adults scare me. “Let’s write it for adults!” Now that word is starting to sound funny…adult…adult…adult.

I can’t do this.

But I did do it, and I’m so glad. Because what I have learned through writing the book for grown ups (the book that you now know as Grace for the Good Girl) is that grown ups are just older teenagers. We are all in this mess together.

We all need to know life is about more than trying hard to be good, it’s about trusting God to be graceful.

The first book has been out for six months, and many who have read it didn’t know it was meant to be for high school girls from the beginning. Some of you have even emailed, telling me you wished you had the book for high school girls. Well, now it is my great and humble pleasure to introduce to you what was supposed to be my only book but has now become my second book: Graceful {For Young Women}: Letting go of Your Try-Hard Life.

Now, let me just answer a few questions you might have.

Why didn’t you just call it Grace for the Good Girl for Young Women?

Right. Did you see that title? For the good girl for young women? Could that be any more confusing? (said in my best Chandler Bing.) No, we wanted this book to stand on her own two feet. She is different from the first book.

So that basically just means you cut and pasted Grace for the Good Girl and then added a few ‘totallys’ and ‘TTYL’s thrown in, right?

Wrong. Graceful is new book with new chapters and new words. And I promise I don’t try to be cool in it. As I said before, writing for a teen audience is the same as writing for a non-teen audience. We are all people.

There are some ways in which it was harder to write this book just because I would get stuck inside my own head of insecurity: They are going to roll their eyes about me. They don’t think like this. They, they, they. Me, me, me. But when I stopped thinking about high school girls as they and remembered they are just people, it was much easier.

There are some of the same stories because you know, it’s still me. And women who resonated with the message of Grace for the Good Girl will perhaps recognize a younger version of themselves in this book. If you read the first book and wanted it for your daughter but wished it was shorter and maybe more relevant to her life stage, now you can give her Graceful.

I would like to use this with my small group. Is there a guide for leaders in the back?

No, but there will be a free one available online for small group leaders. I may also put together some videos to go along with it. Would that be helpful? Stay tuned for that.

So when does this book come out?

I’m so glad you asked that. Graceful is available NOW for pre-order.

Why would I want to pre-order? Shouldn’t I just wait?

It is entirely up to you. But here is how pre-orders help authors – when the book is finally available, Amazon (for example) will fill all pre-orders at once. When lots of sales are filled at once, there is a surge in stats, attention is drawn to the book and, hopefully, more people will know about it. And the main reason we write books is so people will read them. If you think you may want to buy a copy for your niece or your babysitter or your small group girls, pre-ordering is a lovely way to both help the book do better and give your future self a present.

Okay, but when will the book COME OUT?

September. So kind of forever. But it will be in bookstores just in time for fall semester small groups. Several groups at my church are already planning to read it in the fall.

Last week, I offered a sneak peek of Graceful to my newsletter subscribers. Go here to preview the first newsletter from Chatting at the Sky. Want to receive similar updates in your inbox once a month-ish? Subscribe to the newsletter here. What a relief to finally share this book with you. It kind of feels like I’m telling you the name of my next baby. It’s nice. And terrifying. But mostly nice. I tried to answer any questions you may have here, but what did I miss? Can you think of a girl you would like to give Graceful to?