When I retired I started writing for my own enjoyment. My wife Jan read the first few chapters and loved my main character Anthony. She encouraged me to continue with the story and became my beta reader. The story actually developed itself and I truly did not know what would happen from one chapter to the next. I love dogs so it was natural for Anthony to have a dog as his trusted pal. I had also been reading about bulling so it is clear where that part came from but the rest of the story must have been hanging around in my unconscious because at no time did I experience writer’s block and the manuscript was completed in a few weeks.
After the manuscript was completed we decided it might be fun to have it published. I bought a book listing literary agents and their specialty. After selecting a dozen, I researched their requirements. I quickly earned that the process of submitting a manuscript to a literary agent is quite regimented. The query letter has to be just right. I bought several books to earn the correct process and even followed a webinar explaining the ins and outs of getting an agent. After receiving several rejections I decided that this was not for me. I really enjoyed writing my book but did not want to start a full time job trying to get it published.
Then I read an article about self-publishing and I decided to give it a try. The experience has been great. First there was my interaction with a professional editor. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful editor who not only put the professional touches on my manuscript but got involved in the story. She put notes in the margin when an episode made her tear-up but also admonished me when my dialogue was too stilted or unsuited for the character speaking.
For Anthony, my first novel, I let the self-publishing company help with the cover. For my second book I found a graphic artist who quickly understood exactly what I wanted. We never met face to face, all the work was done by the internet but by the time the cover was finished I considered him a friend.
It gave me a great feeling of accomplishment when I received the final proof from the self-publishing company. To hold the actual book in my hands made the whole project real, no longer a silly hobby of self-indulgence. When friends and acquaintances read my novel I received a lot of compliments and this encouraged me to seek some professional reviews. After my book received four five star reviews I was hooked; I wanted to be a writer.
I have since written two more novels. All three of my novels contain unexpected twists and turns in the lives of the main protagonists. This follows the pattern of my own live. Rather than follow the safe path and accept the cozy career in law which was handed to me on a silver platter when I finished law school, I choose to see what the rest of the world had to offer. After a tour in the US Army I lived in Europe for over twenty years. During that time I got to travel to many different countries. I saw what life was like behind the iron curtain and learned to appreciate the customs and traditions in Japan. When I returned home to the USA I worked for a Chinese company and traveled extensive through out Mainland China. I can truly say there was hardly ever a dull moment and that is reflected in the fictional stories I write.
Author Harold Fischel books on Promocave:
“Never Too Late” http://promocave.com/never-too-late/