6 books

...and the journey to publish them.

So here’s the deal. Back in 2008, I lost my consultancy due to the crash of the financial market. Twelve years later, after eight years working for a Fortune 500 company, I lost my job to the effects of the pandemic.

The first time around, I decided that I wouldn’t just jump back into the job market and take the first one that came along. I was an executive - a hotshot, a big kahuna - and I felt that, twenty odd years into it, I had to be careful to not disrupt my meteoric career trajectory. So I did the first thing that everyone does in that situation. 

I started writing books featuring kids going on fantastic adventures. 

I know, same old story.

Before we go further, let me distinguish between the terms manuscript and book. My personal take is that a completed manuscript is a book, whether published or not, and that an incomplete book is still a manuscript. My newsletter. My definitions.

Anyway, in 2013, before I went back to work (and I mean like at a real, honest-to-goodness, paying job), I had compiled a formidable portfolio of six books and a bunch of manuscripts in various forms of bookness. I even wrote some weirdly Shel Silversteinish poetry. More on that later.

My first book, an epic YA fantasy entitled Paleopeople, attracted the attention of the legendary literary agent, Sterling Lord, who was over 90 at the time. He was the agent for some heavyweight writers like Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. And now he had me. 

And then, another of my books, Avery McShane, was published in March 2012 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, London. Little known fact (and not for lack of trumpeting it on my part), the person who discovered the book was none other than Emma Matthewson, the editor of the Harry Potter books for Bloomsbury. 

I had it made. Legendary agent. Famous editor. Published Book. I was already looking for an island to buy.

A year later, in 2013, I was in Argentina and I wasn’t writing no stinking books for a living.

Eight years later, in 2021, I’m back in the Pacific Northwest and I’m not making a living of any kind.

So here’s what’s gonna happen. I’m going to take each of those books I finished almost a decade ago, dust them off, and take those little piggies to market. I’d like you to come along for the ride.

For the record, here are the titles of the books we’re going to get published:

Paleopeople

The Thief of Shadows

Xingu

Achilles Wept

Avery McShane and the Lost Tepui

Avery McShane and the Voodoo Witch

I think a weekly cadence ought to work, so let’s do that. We can adjust on the fly. I’ll probably start out by familiarizing you with the books. I’ll likely cut corners, like simply posting the query letters I’ve written for each one or, in a few cases, posting a more in-depth plot synopsis. You’ll get a taste for cover art and scene sketches; concept art and photos. I’ll even throw in a short story or two, or a finished chapter from a manuscript I’m working on. 

For those of you who’ve been thinking about writing, I’m pretty sure you’ll get something out of this.

For those of you who’ve been in the game for while, this newsletter should make you smile and shake your heads knowingly. It should also make you want to help me out. Please do.

And, for the rest of you, maybe you’ll just enjoy the stories. If that’s what you get out of this, I’ve done my job.

See you next week.