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10 Years As An Author

Welcome to the Writing Wednesday Blog!

You’re thinking to yourself today isn’t Wednesday, it’s Thursday. Yes, you are correct it is Thursday. No, I’m not going mad by any means. This Writing Wednesday Blog had to be written and posted today due to the milestone day it is for me.

Exactly 10 years ago on this day, April 7, 2012, my first book, The Seventh Year, was released and I officially became an author. I didn’t realize I had hit this milestone until I saw a memory reminder on Facebook from 10 years ago when I posted receiving the proof copy of the finished book for the first time. Truly a moment that I will never forget.

Getting to that moment was a journey I will also never forget.

I remember it well and it all started on October 15, 2005. I was heading up to Traverse City, Michigan to spend the weekend with my dad. Exited off US-131-N at the M115 exit just prior to noon. After passing through Cadillac, I decided that I was tired of listening to my CD’s. So, I switched over to the radio and tuned into WTCM, a local station based in Traverse City. As I did, a song had just started playing. One that I had never heard before and one that would be the inspiration for my first novel. That song, The Legend by Steve Cook. A folk song I would learn he wrote as an April Fool’s Joke about the Michigan Dogman.

As, I listened to the song, I became very interested. It probably helped my mind some since I was driving down M-115 through a gloomy, rainy, wooded stretch. Kind of gave me the creeps which being a lover of horror films really got the old noggin going.

After the song had ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, that’s all I thought about the remainder of my trip to my dad’s. When I got there, I asked him if he had heard about it. He had and gave me the skinny on it. After roaming having dinner later that night, I got on his computer and did some research as I couldn’t get it out of my head. My initial thought was this would make a good movie and the rest is history as they say.

I spent the next three years learning how to write a script and developing the story with the help of my niece, Alexis. Our script, which we called Dogman came out of it. I continued to polish it, get feedback, and tried to get an agent to help sell it. But sadly, that didn’t come to pass.

While I was working on it one day at my job, a co-worked asked if he could give it a read. Told him to go ahead. After reading it, he informed me that it was good, and a bit of different take on a werewolf for lack of a better description. My co-worker also pointed out that even though in a script form it read like a novel and said it wouldn’t be too difficult to convert it to one. He was also correct in pointing out how some staff member at Warner Bros. read the book and passed it up to her boss who just happened to be a producer… and look what happened there.

I would spend the next 4 years translating the script to novel form. After many revisions, edits, and a name change to not have it confused with another entity also called Dogman, it was ready to be published.

I didn’t have a publisher, nor do I still, but I had read an article about self-publishing. It just so happened that a local bookstore, Schuler’s Books, had installed a printing service in their Grand Rapids, Michigan store to assist the self-publisher. After talking with them, I turned over my manuscript and cover to them. A week later, the proof copy was ready. I looked it, made some changes, and gave my go ahead.

About a week later, I was invited to Schuler’s as they were going to print the first copy. I got to watch as my book was printed and assembled into the final product. I can’t tell you the feeling of having something you put everything into come to fruition and be handed to you in its final form. It is a great sense of accomplishment, and I will tell you it never gets old.

Having the first copy in my hand, I set a date. After 7 years of many hours of hard work I proved to myself I could do it. That copy in my hand the proof. April 7, 2012, The Seventh Year was officially released. I had become an author! One of the best days of my life.

10 Years later I am still going strong, though I had no idea I would be back then. Still hard to believe now. Since that day I have gone on write 5 other books that have been published to date and have 2 currently that I am working on with 6 others in the planning stages. My future goal is of course to find a publisher so that I can write full time, and this can be the job that pays the bills. Though when you love something as much as this, it’s no longer a job.

I enjoy every minute of the process of writing even though things like editing can be taxing. It’s all worth it in the end. Here’s to 10 years of being an author and many more to come, and a Happy 10th Anniversary to my first book, The Seventh Year!

To those who have supported me and my work over the last ten years, I thank you all. Part of the reason I am here doing this is because of you! You know who you are…

Till Next Time My Friends!

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