Book Price Slashed + My “Brilliant” Career as a Writer


Howdy there. If you’ll scroll down the handy sidebar to your right, you’ll see a link to my book. Click the picture and it will take you right to the site of the publisher, Createspace, where you can now order it for $12.55! At present, is still displaying the higher price, but that may update itself sometime in the near future–really not sure how all that works.

You can click on the Createspace link or navigate on your own to the Amazon site to read a synopsis of the story so I won’t go into that. I will tell you a little more about me as a writer.

I started writing for publication in 2002 and met with immediate acceptance in both national and local (Atlanta) magazines. However, I found quickly I wasn’t crazy about that sort of work. I wasn’t fond of conceiving an idea and pitching it and doing all the work, and then having an editor become the “boss” of my story. I know it’s normal and usual but I just didn’t care for it. I also was not fond of occasions when I picked up a magazine off the newsstand to find–surprise!–my work was inside, without so much as a word from them to let me know they were accepting it, and editing it, sometimes in ways that were abhorrent to me.  I suppose it might have slipped their minds to pay me, too, if I hadn’t happened to catch them.

ANYWAY…I decided to focus on fiction which was my true love, although the fiction market is much harder to crack. Did you know 80% of Americans say they want to write a book someday? And not much short fiction gets published in the US anymore. Remember how, years ago, there would be a short story in the middle of women’s magazines? Not so much anymore. If you want to publish fiction, you start with literary magazines (often put out by universities). The general public doesn’t read them much, but you hope maybe an agent will, and maybe you’ll get a book deal. (I was approached by an agent that way once…but he was an old Jewish gentleman from NYC and I don’t think he really related very well to my story about Baptists in Georgia. ;-) )

I was over the moon when I first got published in The Bellevue Literary Review. Even more so when, several months later, they invited me to come to New York and read at the launch party for the issue of the magazine that contained my story. I had to work with the editor quite a bit on that particular story, but the next few that were published in different magazines were accepted much more easily with barely a word changed.

In 2008, I was accepted to the Sewanee Writers Conference, an uppity 2-week affair held at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. I was excited to meet and work directly with some of my Southern literature idols, but frankly the whole thing was a bust. I thought it would be fun, but it felt like a two-week-long job interview (with no job at the end!). Lots of very competitive folks with prickly egos around there. The most enjoyable part was the knowledge that I, with my high school diploma, was as good a writer as anybody I met there, and a sight better than some. (I think, seriously, I was the least educated person there, but some of their writing was pretty stinky.) I held my own just fine, but I never got any real benefit out of going. :-(

All the years that this was going on, I was working on my book. Sometimes I’d work steadily and sometimes it would gather dust for a while, but finally I finished it. Through the Atlanta Writers’ Club, I had the opportunity to pitch it (in person, not via mail or “over the transom” as the saying goes) to several literary agents from New York. The first year, my novel wasn’t finished and I just pitched it for the practice. I was blindsided when the agent requested to see the whole thing (angels come out of the sky and sing “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” when that happens). I had to admit it wasn’t complete, and busy agents don’t look at partial manuscripts in fiction the way they do non-fiction. The next year, the book was finished and I pitched it to three agents at one conference and they all wanted to see it. (See, I’m trying to convince you it’s a pretty decent thing that I spent YEARS OF MY LIFE writing!)

I had a serious bite from one agent. I mean I thought the magic was HAPPENING. I was about ready to celebrate. I was emailing my real-professional-writer acquaintances to see if they would do a blurb for the cover. (Agents like that because it’s like a recommendation that helps sell the book.) But in the end, this agent decided that well, she wasn’t entirely happy with this one CHARACTER ( a major one who appeared on pretty much every page) and certain other points that would have required major re-writing of something that I had labored for years to get exactly the way I wanted it. Well, but still,  the name of the game is publishing and SELLING the thing, so I would have done it–IF she had only said, “Do these things, make these changes, and we’ve got a deal.” But she didn’t. She wanted these changes made, and then she would be willing to LOOK AT IT again and then maybe, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe…represent me. All the risk was on my side of the table, and I just couldn’t see myself doing it.

So I shelved it and moved on with my life. I had some major things going on, such as moving to Florida, so I put a “period” at the end of my sentence and knew that I would no longer pursue publication of that particular work. But then after a few years, I decided I would like to have it put into book form, just so my children would have a BOOK someday when I was dead and gone, and not just a bunch of loose papers. I did this through Createspace, a print-on-demand company. And if you’re interested in that for yourself, let me just share that it didn’t cost me a doggone thing except some time. I did all the formatting and a friend of mine agreed to donate the cover photo if only I would credit him and send him a copy of the book, which I was happy to do. When people order the book, they print one up and keep their share and send me a royalty. I recommend it to any writer, far and away above those vanity presses that make you buy 100 copies of your book or something.

I have been longwinded as usual. But check out the book and let me know if you enjoy it. :-) (If you look at it on Amazon’s site you can read the first few pages.)  One word of warning–while it does deal heavily with Christian people and ideas about God and religion, it is not a “Christian novel” of the variety sold at Christian bookstores. I was unchurched at the time I wrote it, and it has some cuss words. If it were a movie it might be PG-13. I dunno, maybe just PG; I’m not sure how they rate them exactly. Did you ever read The Rapture of Canaan? If not, you should–great book. Anyway I hoped that mine might be a little bit like that.  If I can answer any questions, I will be glad to! Leave a comment or just email me at

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