Saturday, June 30, 2012

Old Publishing Model (the Big 6) vs. New Publishing Model (self-publishing)

Hmm... let's see. Old publishing model. I send my book to hundreds of agents, and perhaps directly to a publisher or two. I'm told that only vampire, fantasy, and dystopia sells, and my niche audience is not economically viable. I write solid family and adventure reality-based fiction for Young Adults, so my manuscripts are consigned to the slush pile and then the round file. I've got no hope of every getting my stories read. After a while, I lose hope, and I may even stop writing.

New publishing model. I self publish. 

Let's see how that worked: 

I started 2-and-a-half years ago. I am much more than "strikingly upbeat" about how well my 7 books are doing. Tens of thousands of readers have found my books. I am absolutely awed by some of the wonderful reviews and delighted at the ratings. For example, at the Apple iBookstore listing for my book 'Playing the Baseball Card', there have been 54 ratings with an overall average of four stars. 

Old vs. New? New wins! I am more motivated than ever to keep writing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Fathers' Day Essay - What Kind of Father?

As a person, I have observed many examples of ‘fathers’ and regrettably more bad than good.  On a positive note, I was particularly struck by two recent pieces related to fatherhood, one by LZGranderson at, and the other by Dominic Utton at the Mail Online.

As an author, I have often created characters in a father role.  In certain of my books, the father is described after his death. In Playing the Baseball Card, the protagonist describes his father as a man who ‘made sure that his children were the most important part of his life.

In Aiden’s Arrival: Honor Before Gold, a now-grown son describes a man who assumed a father’s role by marrying a women with two young children.  “None of us; my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece; were related to our father and grandfather by blood, but that didn’t matter to him.  He showed us, by his example, that family is about loving people, and caring about people, and living together in a supportive way.  Not always in harmony, but always caring about your family more than anything else.  He lived that kind of life, and today we carry on with that legacy.

In Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series, the father is described this way:  “The example of his life teaches us the lessons of responsibility, obligation, commitment, dedication, loyalty, patriotism and also compassion.  In his life, he strove to be the best son he could be, the best husband he could be, the best father he could be, the best officer he could be, and the best man he could be.”

If you know your father, what do you think of him? If you knew your father, how do you remember him?

I believe a real father is one who looks into the eyes of his children, and says to them, “My life improved the day you came into my life, and my life gets better every day that you are still in my life.”  I also believe a real father is the kind of role model I’ve described in the excerpts from my books, above. 

If you have the chance to be a father, or if you are a father, how do you want to be remembered? 

To all fathers, everywhere, Happy Fathers’ Day.