My Newest Book: 100 Days of Trump

Jason BoyettComment

After writing a fast, research-intense book on Greek mythology in late 2015 and a fast, research-intense book on world religions in 2016, I didn't think I had another book in me for awhile.

Then the American people elected Donald J. Trump to be the 45th president. About two weeks into his presidency, I found myself obsessively browsing news sites to find out what he had said that day. It was always something completely unpredictable—sometimes self-promoting, or controversial, or patently untrue. Whatever it was, it was completely different from the ways other presidents had talked.

The media didn't know what to do with it. They were used to reporting almost every word that came out of a president's mouth, and so they dutifully reported what Trump said or tweeted. Every statement would dominate the news cycle for a few hours. Then he (or members of his administration) would say something else that captured the nation's attention. So the news cycle jumped on that. Day after day after day.

As a writer, I believe that words matter. Especially if you carry the title of President of the United States, which filters everything you say through the world's largest megaphone. Rather than forget about each statement as it flowed through and then drained out of the daily news cycle, I wanted to remember the president's words. 

Early in February, I was discussing this new reality with my wife, Aimee. "You should write a book about all these quotes," she said.


So I started writing. Every day, I picked a quote that had gotten significant coverage in the day's news cycle. I wrote a paragraph of context explaining why the quote mattered, or why it had captured our attention. I could have done it for weeks or months, of course, but I decided to limit it to the president's first 100 days. I released 100 Days of Trump yesterday, on his 101st day in office. Self-publishing is immediate, and I think it's a perfect medium for this kind of book.

Whether you supported Trump or not, I hope this compilation of quotes provides some insight into the neck-breaking pace of this period in American history.

Download it for Amazon Kindle ($2.99).
Download it for free at NoiseTrade Books (tips accepted).

My New Book: 12 Major World Religions

Jason BoyettComment

Last September I put the final touches on my Greek Mythology book and headed to Europe on a vacation with my wife. I returned in October to an email from my editor. "I'm hoping you have had a good experience working with [us]. If you have the time and inclination, I have another project I hope you'll be interested in: a comparative look at the 12 most major religions."

Having written extensively about evangelical Christian apocalypticism, the Catholic saints, and the various afterlife teachings of a variety of world religions, it's not a stretch to say that religion has long been my "beat" as a writer of nonfiction. I've been fascinated by it since I began reading outside my own Southern Baptist faith tradition in my late high school years. One of my favorite college-level classes was a world religions survey course—a humanities elective, I think—led by a Catholic priest friend of mine. 

So, yeah. My editor was right in thinking I would be interested in the project. By the end of that October, we were discussing an outline and had put together a very condensed writing schedule. During my kids' Christmas break, I began writing and researching in earnest. My deadline for the manuscript was in April.

That gave me about 16 weeks to write chapters about Egyptian mythology, Greek mythology, Norse mythology, and the teachings and beliefs of a dozen world religions in what would become an accessible, intensively fact-checked and well-sourced reference book.

It. Was. HARD.

I've written a lot of books on tight deadlines, but this was definitely the most challenging project I've ever done. But I am thrilled with the result. My author's copies arrived last week, and every time I page through the physical book, I'm surprised by the diversity of information in there. While this book lacks the snarky "voice" I've adopted in previous books—for better or worse, depending on whom you ask—it has become THE book I'll put at the top of my resume. 

From the current election in the US to terrorism and other events on the world stage, religion runs the show. It drives decisions. It influences behavior. It colors our perspective of almost everything that happens on our planet, from scientific advancements to the arrival of new technologies.

We need to understand religion better—our own faiths, and those belonging to others.

12 Major World Religions: The Beliefs, Rituals, and Traditions of Humanity's Most Influential Faiths releases a week from today, on August 30. I'm proud of this book and hope you'll pre-order a copy.