News, Blog, Updates, and anything else that comes to mind
Find great deals for Yamaha EF2000iSv2 2000 Watt Inverter Generator. Quiet, durable and convenient portable generator. View a seating chart for Head Over Heels at Hudson Theatre. Concept2 vs WaterRower - Which One is our favourite click here to find out The best robot vacuums for pet owners awards - go to Side-by-Side Comparisons to Choose Best Roomba For Pet Hair Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator Review - read more My Fair Lady - Discount Tickets & Show Information Best indoor rower in the world - concept 2 rower on sale.

FAQ #5 (A Tilt-a-Whirl Costco Pack)

Since Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl released, questions have been rolling in. These questions have come in a barrage, and so I’m going to respond in a barrage (at least to the most reoccurring of them–and to one or two that were just fun).

1. Were you inspired to write this book by Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz?

A. No. I’ve actually never read any of Miller’s stuff. I have seen a couple clips of him (seems like a nice guy), and I’m grateful to him for BLJ, because he’s introduced hunnerds of thousands of Christian readers to the concept of creative nonfiction.

2. Is Tilt an intentional rebuttal of Blue Like Jazz?

A. Nope. See above. Doesn’t mean that the two books aren’t ever at odds. But I’m not in a position to know.

(Note: The same answers apply to questions about Rob Bell. Maybe I should be familiar with his work, but I’m not.)

3. What Christian writers inspired you the most?

A. On the one hand, we have: Lewis, Chesterton, Dillard (her early stuff). On the other, and more profoundly: Solomon’s Ecclesiastes.

4. You’re wrong. Flies never give birth to live young. They lay eggs.

A. No, you’re wrong. I seen it with my own two eyes. (It squeezed out larva upon larva while a mantis tore its head off and began sipping out its insides.) Contra mundum.

5. Will they’re be a sequel?

A. Someday. But whenever it comes, it won’t be orbital like Tilt. But that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be linear.

6. How do you get yourself to write in stream of consciousness and still make sense?

A. I don’t write in stream of consciousness. How’s that for cheating? I outlined each chapter, collecting and assembling elements and themes and particular images beforehand, then I assembled it all. Once assembled, I edited like the dickens.

7. How do you justify some of the, ahem, colorful language in the book?

A. I say at the beginning of the book that my language never gets as colorful as the prophet Ezekiel’s. When I fire off with a “vulgarity”, I’m not doing so on a lark, or just to get a snicker out of the back row at youth group. I don’t do it often, but when I do, I’m doing it in indirect imitation of various biblical writers.

That’ll do me for now. At least until more questions become frequently asked. Cheers.


  1. at
    July 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Appreciating the FAQ’s, keep them coming.

  2. at
    July 31, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    “I say at the beginning of the book that my language never gets as colorful as the prophet Ezekiel’s.” Just out of plain old couriousity, what does he say that’s colorful launguage? I’ve never noticed any, but I’ve not been looking. 😉

    Flies give birth? Wow……. All of the science books I’ve had (Mom keeps changing them) said that flies have eggs. Flies giving birth’s cooler, though, ’cause that’d mean they aren’t, really, insects.

    It sounds like a really good book!

  3. at
    jon marq
    August 5, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Your book came at just the right the time. Well done! Here’s what I have said about your Notes:

    Ever read a book that “snuck” up on you, caught you off guard — looking at life the wrong way — and then sucker-punched you in the heart? That’s what “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” did to me. Fantastic!

    Here is a simplified comparison: Blue Like Jazz is lite beer; Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is a fine amber ale.

  4. at
    Cas Monaco
    August 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I work with Campus Crusade for Christ and we all received a copy of “Notes from a Tilt-a-Whirl” at our recent national conference. If you had anything to do with that — thanks! I think it’ll be a useful tool on university campuses all over the world.

    I just finished chapter three and have to tell you that I love it! As a writer — I love your creative style, and as a believer — I’m enjoying how you describe God’s greatness and complexity with panache. I’m eager to check out some of your other books.

    I recently saw an excerpt from a interview with Richard Dawson. He wrote “The God Delusion” which, in his opinion, refutes Intelligent Design. I’m no scientist, but I don’t know how any intelligent human-being can miss God in the day to day of life. Anyway, I wanted to write to Richard Dawson (not that he’d really listen) and paint a picture of God’s amazing-ness. You’ve done that in your book. I hope he reads it.

    Thanks — I’m going to work on your suggested writing exercise too. You’re an inspiring example. Thanks.

  5. at
    Jesse Broussard
    August 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Didn’t know that Dickens did all that much editing…

  6. at
    August 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t think he did, since he procrastenated a LOT. *shakes head* He wrote A Christmas Carol in about four weeks, and it was still out in time for Christmas. I think he started in October, and ended in November, so that left NO time for editing. And a lot of his books were written for newspapers, and a section was written every week, so there wasn’t much time for the editing. 😛 Kinda annoying sometimes…..

  7. at
    August 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Happy birthday, Nate!!

  8. at
    August 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks all!

  9. at
    Sarah :)
    August 26, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I loved tilt-a-whirl. incidentally, I also love all your other books.

    Having read Lewis and Chesterton AND Donald Miller, I must say that reading tilt-a-whirl reminded me VERY STRONGLY of Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”. Especially the parts about all that stuff we view as “normal” actually being magic.

    so. keep up the good work.

  10. at
    Lauren Phillips
    August 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    my family really loves all your books, I haven’t read Notes from the tilt-a-whirl yet because i’m still waiting for my brother to finish it. but I cant wait

  11. at
    Bob Aycock
    October 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I just won a copy of your book from the Vessel Project ( and I’m very eager to read it now! Looking forward to exploring all of your writings…

  12. at
    November 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

    He said he “edited like the dickens” not like Charles Dickens. heh

    As far as Ezekiel – try reading chapter 16.

    I’m listening to the audiobook for 100 cupboards now and it’s fantastic.

  13. at
    Matthew McCabe
    December 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I was puzzled by that bit about the flies giving live birth too. But I wonder if what you saw was the handiwork of a parasitic wasp. If so, it’s pretty cool that you saw a fly getting eaten from the outside and inside at once.

  14. at
    Charles Chambers
    March 30, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Hi Nate: Here is what a friend responded to me on FB who is into her second reading of Tilt: Charles, yes, I love Tilt-a-Whirl and I
    have been intending to tell you so. I love it! I agree that it must be
    one of the best books to come out in a long time. I enjoy his whimsical
    associations and they remind me of the conversations I have with myself.
    I am rereading now and going slowly because I don’t want it to e…nd.
    Thank you for telling me about it. I’ve been speading the word too.6 minutes ago ·

    Thanks again for sharing your gift with us.

  15. at
    December 18, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Please write a 2nd Tilt!!

  16. at
    November 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I read Tilt-a-Whirl on the flight home from the 2013 conference up there in Moscow, and I loved it so much, I have bought about 20 copies and given them away. Great, great work! I laughed, I cried, I loved it!

One Trackback

  1. By N. D. Wilson on Writing « For His Renown on June 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

    […]  own description of it is much better than any I might attempt, and check out this interesting FAQ he did on the […]

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *