Two Years almost to the day and Devil in the Grass is finally launched!
In the beginning, I really had no plans to publish a book. I did it for myself. I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories and essays, I also spent many years participating in on line gaming, which was very writing intensive. I tried a few times to start a book, but after several 1000 words, It just wasn’t right. It was my wife who encouraged me to finish something. The first draft was called “The Devil in me.” I don’t know why, but I knew it wasn’t right. Driving through the Everglades a year or so ago I was taken by the vast expanse of the Sawgrass plains and swamps. You could hide a lot of stuff in there. So the Grass became it’s own entity to some extent, and the devilish characters of my book resided within. Thus, Devil in the Grass was conceived.
The original Manuscript was much longer and had a lot of holes. I was encouraged by friends to send it to an editor. I did some research and decided upon Lori Handelman of Clear Voice Editing. I got a good vibe from her and credentials were excellent. She contacted me half way through and indicated that the MS was an exceptional story, but with a few holes. We worked on the MS for a few months and came up with something somewhat close to what I have now. I remember her telling me with her Texas drawl, “Chris if it were the 90’s you’d get picked up by a publishing house. I don’t say this to many clients but you should try to publish this traditionally.” She also said that, “You realistically won’t do it though. It’s too tough.”
Lori helped me with my query letters to agents and I was off and running – mostly into brick walls. I did get some nice letters back from agents, but the underlying theme was that no one want’s to take a chance on a first time author anymore, unless you are a world famous heart surgeon or Hillary Clinton with a feasible marketing platform.
I was about to contact Amazon to self publish when I received an email from an agent. Woo hoo. Felicia Gomez from Savvy Literary. She specializes in cookbooks mostly, but was willing to take it to a publisher . Within a few weeks we had a deal with Koehler Books, based in Virginia Beach. It is a small press, but I will say, they have been wonderful. There are some fairly big authors there and I was taken into their literary family. They were really excited by my book. They normally charge extra for editing but because my MS was so clean, they gave me a traditional deal.
Like I’ve stated, I write because I like to do it. I have a great job and get paid very well. I want to tell stories and I now had an outlet to continue doing something that I love to do. If I make some money at it – great. (as long as it’s enough to get another deal lol.)
The next steps involved more extensive editing and book cover design. I was really happy with the cover. It was basically what I had envisioned. Koehler Studios came up with a few other cool designs, but I knew the one that we kept was the deal.
I’m not one to let things lie. I have since moved forward with book promotion. There is no used doing something halfheartedly. I am booked for several book signings at home in Niagara and in SW Florida. I feel as if I’ve been dragged along by the tigers tail. I really didn’t think I would ever be a real air breathing author, but here I am- Published.
I am participating in many promotions as I sit here writing this piece. Goodreads, Amazon, Print, Laurence O’Brien and Books go social have been fantastic as well as many of the book bloggers who have given me wonderful 5 and 4 star reviews. Really, the reviews are what make me want to pinch myself.
My launch is this week, Mid March. I am doing a book signing at the Old Niagara Book Store March 24th, 2016.
Whats up next for Chris Bowron? I have three projects on the go.
- Doc Dom, a medical thriller about the illegal organ trade.
- The Senator, a paranormal sequel to Devil in the Grass.
- A true survival story about some of my friends who lasted three days floating in the Gulf of Mexico after they boat sank.
I plan on adding some excerpts here on my web site soon.
Most importantly, I really appreciate the fact that you are reading this blog post. It means that someone out there is interested in my writing and my literary voyage. I’m humbled and grateful!
Cheers, until I can think of something else to write about…