This is the final post before the release of my 8th book (8th!!) Never Dead tomorrow. First of all, realizing that this is my 8th book has made me a little reflective of all that’s happened the last few years and how long I’ve worked toward this goal. When I finished writing my first novel (it’s called Lost and it’s really bad—I doubt I’ll let anyone read it) I assumed that anyone who finished a novel would get signed by an agent, find a publisher who would send a mediocre book to an editor to get fixed. Then the publisher would publish the book and the author would get paid a few thousand dollars every month in royalties. Yes I had finished college at that point but I had no idea how publishing worked. Over time I learned so much and I realize that writing the book was only the beginning of the work. Submitting work whether it’s short stories or longer stuff like novels is a long and humbling process. There are so many other writers out there with great ideas writing incredible stories and publishers have so much great material to pick from. I saw a lot of rejection for a lot of years. Short stories, novels, everything I wrote was rejected over and over again. But I kept writing through all of that and I started getting feedback on the things that were rejected and the feedback helped make my writing better. And I kept writing Then I started getting acceptances for short stories. Actual editors were going through, reading my work and picking my stories. They would send back edits or changes to make before publishing the stories. And those suggestions made all my writing even better. And I kept writing.
When I turned 30 I set a personal goal to be published by the time I was 40. As the day got closer it didn’t look like it was going to happen. Then three months before my 40th birthday I got the email I’d been waiting for for nearly 20 years. A publisher wanted to publish my book Perhaps She Will Die. I was pumped beyond belief. All of the work and improvement over the years had paid off and I was going to be an actual author with an actual book.
I turned 40 in March of 2021 and Perhaps She Will Die came out in July of the same year. I didn’t quite hit my self imposed deadline, but I was damn close. That was 3 years ago. Now it’s almost 2024 and tomorrow I will have 8 books published with my name on them. By the end of next year that number will be up to 11. And I don’t really see myself slowing down any time soon. I’m in the middle of a bit of a door-stopper novel at the moment and I just got an idea that I’ve been thinking about for the next novel. The point of all this is, all those years of writing and getting rejected made me a better writer. When I sit down to write a book I have an actual process I use because I’ve done it so many times. There was so much failure for the first 20 years of this, I thought about quitting so many times, but I never could quite turn my back of writing completely.
The reason I’m telling you all of this before the release of Never Dead? I want you to know where this book and all my books come from. It takes me between 6-8 months to write a book (depending on its length) thats from starting to write the first words to finishing up my final edits before sending it to publishers or agents. But those first few books ( especially the terrible first one) took years. I have developed a system that works for me now that I couldn't have had before without all the experience. So the work that goes into each book includes all of that learning I did for almost twenty years before the first one was published.
I always say that writing a book is a solitary activity but that it takes a huge team to publish one. That's true for this book as it is with all the others. Thanks to my publisher Patrick Reuman at Wicked House Publishing. I;m proud to say I have been a part of Wicked House from day 1 and I appreciate them taking a chance on my books. Thank you also to Andrew Najberg for taking on the editing of this book. It has a lot of moving parts and I get protective of my words at times but he made the book better. Thank you also to Christian Bentulan for another incredible cover.He does great work and if your looking for a book cover please check him out, you won't be disappointed. Thanks to Dave LaSota who read an early draft of Never Dead and fielded I can't tell you how many questions I had through the editing process. Thanks to my family. All of you. Parents, grandparents, my brother, all of my in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces. The book would not exist in its final form without all of you. Finally thanks to Mandy, Tom and Isabella. I know there are times when I'm sitting and typing away at the computer not talking to anyone when they wish I wasn't but they understand the job and let me take the time to do this without complaint. I truly could not do any of this without them.
Most importantly are the readers of course. While I couldn't write books without the help from my family and I couldn't publish them without the people above listed about you are the most important. Thank you for everyone who takes the time to buy my book and read it. Thank you also to those who review it or share a picture of it or even just tell a friend about it. Word of mouth is the greatest seller of books and it means the world to me.
Never Dead is dedicated to my family and I think once you finish the book you'll understand why. I talked last week about how its fitting it's released on my grandfathers birthday. I know exactly what he'd say if he could see this book released on his birthday. "Eight books? Wow! You've go it all going for you now."