Saturday, June 19, 2010


Things happen for a reason. I retired in February of this year. In March the contract with my publisher ended. Although this might be a disappointment for some, I am looking at this as an opportunity; an opportunity to take matters into my own hands, and to take risks, which if they failed might have impacted negatively on my fellow authors who were still with my publisher.

I took steps, steps which I could not take before, including tightening up on parts of the story of my book, which would have otherwise have cost money to make the revisions. I, of course, took steps to form my own corporation, obtaining all the necessary items to become a corporation. I also had to purchase the rights to the illustrations in my book. Given that my words, and her illustration combined to make a wonder end product; and after some discussions we arrived at a mutually agreed upon price, which we, considering the circumstances felt would be fair to both of us.

Now with the rights to the illustrations in hand, and having completed making the final edits. I am almost ready to get my book published again. Just need to complete the arrangement for the back cover, and to obtain some feedback on its design.

With all the time I now have, I have been able to make final edits for another manuscript for a children's book I have written, and to begin making edits on a third. Time has also given me the opportunity to sit down and to begin to complete writing the paranormal romance manuscript I began writing about seven years ago. First manuscripts take the longest to write, as one strives for prefection. And given what I have heard about what is being looked for in the market place for certain genres of books, I am looking at possible writing a YA (young adults book).

Things happen for a reason, and I am glad I decided to retire when I did.


Given I had written a children's book (ages 5 - 8[9]), my publisher got an illustrator, Nancy C. Lepri, to do the illustrations.

She did a superb job in doing them, capturing the visual story of my words. The weirdest thing about her illustrations is the cover she drew. Why am I saying the front cover is weird? The answer is simple. Even though she lives in North Carolina, she drew the view I had from my apartment window as I wrote the book.

After the illustrations had been done, I became a "galley slave", reviewing and making final changes to the story. Once I approved the final draft, I waited patiently for the first copy of my book to arrive. The smell of ink of a fresly printed book fulfills the dream of each writer wanting to see their work in print. It is a smell which will always be remembered and cherished.

During the time I had been with my publisher, she held chats where all the authors who where there able to begin to learn how to market our books, and we developed a kinship, supporting each other along the way. We shared each others ups as well as our downs.

Even though one gets published, we still need a network of friends and supporters who are able to understand and feel the emotions we have.


Having written numerous articles (commentaries) in my community newspaper for several years, and as a lark I wanted to see if I could write a full pledge fictional story. I wrote three pages one week, two the next, three... At the end of a few months I had written about 35 pages I saw the beginning a story (paranormal romance) starting to take form. But, I wondered if a guy could write something in this genre and get it published. After a little googling I found the RWA (Romance Writers of America), and to my amazement the president at that time was a guy writing under the name of Leigh Greenwood. Well that does it. I got the green light to move on with my writing.

I located a local chapter of the RWA in Rockland County (New York), Hudson Valley RWA ( which offered critiques to their members, but first I had to join the national organization ( I received a warm welcome at the first meeting I attended.

After attending a few meetings I had learned a great deal. One of the most important things I learned is that there is a vast difference between writing fiction and writing the non-fiction commentary type items I had become quite skilled at writing. It had been at one of these meetings that I read the first five pages of my manuscript, and I got to learn I had been making all of the most common mistakes new authors have, too many tags, being overly descriptive, POV, etc. There were a lot, and I do mean a lot of "problems" within those five pages. Yet, through each critique, I got the sense that no criticism existed in those critiques, except a willingness to support me in becoming a better writer.

Along the way, my wife suggested that I stop writing the story I had been writing, and write something for children, and since I had a severe case of writer's block (it had been several months I had written anything). I looked around, and seeing the antics of our two, I got an idea for a story, which I decided to call, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me".

When I finished it, I showed it to one of the women there, who said, "that although it had a few minor errors..." she deemed it to be publishable (thanks to the support and guidance I had received in writing my romance manuscript), . At last a green light. Time to search out and get a publisher.

After the normal, drawn out process, of query, reject, query... I got picked up by a small press publisher. My contract ended in March of this year, and since my book will no longer be available, I'm in the process of going self-publish.

So seek out the organizations in the genre you're writing in, seek out their local chapters for guidance and support. And join.