Writing a book is hard. Publishing a book is even harder. When I first met the Director of Thought Catalog’s Book Division, I had just completed a round of meetings with editors at traditional publishing houses set up by my literary agent at WME, each of which left me feeling more disheartened than the last. None of the conventional folks seemed open to any approach that deviated from their go-to formulas. As it happens, none of them really wanted to publish my book, either. Luckily, Thought Catalog could offer me the speed, expertise, and creative freedom I needed to feel excited about tackling this project. Below are a few fun facts about the long, difficult, rewarding process of writing Surviving In Spirit.