Capitol CMG artist and songwriter Anne Wilson is set to open her heart in her first-ever book, My Jesus: From Heartache To Hope, set to hit shelves on October 25. Wilson released her debut full-length album of the same name in April 2022 to critical acclaim. The title track had unprecedented success and was the longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard Christian Airplay Chart of 2021 for seven weeks total. My Jesus: From Heartache To Hope is set to expand on Anne’s testimony of her life’s triumphs, devastating loss and everything in-between. Although she has lived through the tragic season of losing her brother at a young age from a car accident, she is also in a new season of seeing God sustain her and her family during hard times. In this TCB Exclusive, Anne shares what inspired her to write this book, how she has found healing in the creative process and what she is most excited for readers to discover. Additionally, Wilson reflects on the success of recent radio single “Hey Girl” and previews some exciting tour plans.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of My Jesus: From Heartache To Hope! When did you first have the vision to capture everything in writing in this form?
After I released “My Jesus,” I realized that the Lord was doing so much through that song, and I was receiving countless stories from people on how their lives have been changed from the song. God was doing so much through it, and I felt He was calling me to go deeper into the story and really write it and put it out there for the world to get not only the story behind the song, but also get to learn all the miracles He’s done in my life. It was an opportunity to talk about the goodness of God.
You’ve seen a lot of success this year with your debut album/title track of the same name. You’ve heard and seen how this has impacted the lives of others. How has it impacted your story?
It’s been incredible! I feel like hearing and seeing people’s stories of how God has used this has impacted me on a personal level. Losing my brother in 2017 was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. The pain was so deep and so wide, but now seeing what God has done through the story of that is so healing for me. Going to bed at night knowing that my brother’s loss wasn’t wasted and that God did something good out of it, has helped me personally and my family. We together suffered this tragic loss and now we get to see God doing something with it. It’s been so healing for me.
In preparing for the release, has there been a passage, or section, that you anticipate being impactful for readers?
I really love the whole story of how I got into the music industry. I love how the book goes in-depth too, so I’m probably most excited about that! It walks through every moment that God did and the miracles in my life.
How did you approach this differently, or the same, as your music creative process?
The book was a different process for me than the album. The album was three years in the making and really was able to dive deep. It was incredible and healing. But the book was really fast; I wrote the book in two months. The book was a quick process but I would say it was more healing to write than the record was. I was able to go back in the past and have the Lord heal my heart from a lot of tragic things and walk through the process of losing my brother and the pain. The record was healing but in a different way. It was more exciting and fun and getting to explore my creativity, and the book was just about diving deep into memories and moments with my brother and what the Lord did. So they were similar in the sense that they were healing for me, but the book has really helped me continue to heal through the loss of my brother and these past few years.
Was it a surprise for you that you wrote the book in two months after taking three years with the record?
We were in a rush from when we decided to write the book and when we needed to finish to get it edited, so we only had the two months. And I was on tour those two months, so it was crazy! It was shocking how fast we did it though, but I knew it was going to be quick because I’ve had all these things on my heart that I’ve been wanting to share for so long, and I finally get to share the memories and the moments! I actually wrote the book with my French teacher from high school back in Kentucky, so it was a fun process to get to work on this book with her and have her memories of Jacob from when she knew him. It was awesome she was willing to help her write this book!
You also recently shared new versions of “Hey Girl.” Did you know this was going to be as much of a fan favorite during the writing/recording process?
I did not think that. I wrote “Hey Girl” about the process of going through a tough season with my identity. I struggled a lot in high school and middle school in placing my worth in what people thought about me and said about me, rather than what the Lord did. I struggled for the longest time, and I wrote “Hey Girl” for girls who are suffering through that and going through identity issues, and whether to believe the opinions of the world or what the Lord says about them. When we put it on the record, I thought it would be one that people overlooked. People started to resonate with it, so we decided to release it as a radio single, and we also put out the four different versions of it – the Kentucky version, which is my favorite, the radio version, the original version, and then the Rock the South version, where we did a country festival. It’s been so cool to see how this song has been impacting women of all ages and across the world! I’m grateful for the reminder this song is giving women about their worth in Jesus!
What are you most expectant for in the remainder of 2022 and into 2023?
I’m very excited for what the Lord is going to do in this next season! I’m on a tour right now with Casting Crowns, which I’m loving. We have a Christmas tour in December with Phil Wickham, which is going to be awesome! And then next year, I can’t say yet, but we have a really exciting tour at the start of January! I’m most excited about this book and how it will impact people! So the book comes out and then touring non-stop until April or May, so I would love to see people come out to a show! I have some new music coming out for the Christmas season! I’m excited to carry that into the Christmas season, and have some songs to play live!