Wednesday, December 9, 2015

From the Heart

"What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?"
"With a Little Help From My Friends," The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. (1967).

Release day.

A number of very famous, totally wealthy writers have written about writing.There are the successes, the funny stories about meeting this person or that person and, of course, what it was like on the movie set when the film based on their book was in production. Well, la-di-frickin'-da.

For a freelancer, release day brings a period of celebration unlike many others. Okay, the birth of my children (and the day my stepson took my last name) are better. Wedding days are totally important. But...

Release day means that others can experience the story over which the writer has slaved, toiled and wept. This is not just a novel. It is a labor of love.

My first published novel, Out of Ideas, took shape during a trip with a good friend to an airshow in Wisconsin. The story evolved before I had really decided on the characters. Karen Sorenson evolved, for the most part, as a melding of many of the strong women I've known. Once that book hit the "shelves" it was imperative that her story continue.

Our daughter Beth... Okay, this part of the story is a confluence of irony and fate. Beth is an attorney who has a private practice, in addition to working for an organization in DC. She's an extraordinary person, married to a veteran with multiple recent deployments. When she was in high school - a wild child. So when I was looking for a publisher and I saw "Wild Child Publishing. Break wild." What would it cost?

Marci Baun, the publisher, has been nothing but supportive. She offered a contract on a short story, then a novel. Then another.

Writing a novel takes a lot of focus, a degree of denial and a hide thick enough for an NFL football. The payoff? I'd love to make millions and retire to the Bahamas. But, in reality - The Heart of the Matter is a really good book. It says, about police women, exactly what I want it to say (and how many publishers will let that happen?). A lot of good people have helped make it happen along the way.

And, if a lot of someones buy it, I get to write something else.

Enjoy Karen's story. She's a very good friend.

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