Monday, June 30, 2014

Origins of a novel



Thanks to everyone who purchased DROP OUT, the book continues to affect lives. For those of you who don’t know the origins of the story and its message, I thought I’d share a portion of a biography interview I did when the book was published. Then please decide if it is right for you.

I’ve been a thriller, sci-fi writer for more than twenty years and over that span of time my books garnered the attention of numerous literary agents and publishers. In 2005, I signed with a major literary agent from a major NY literary agency. The agency had sold hundreds of books and film rights, some for seven figures. I was very excited to say the least.

My agent loved all six (I now have ten) of my books and like any good agent edited and provided free advice to make the stories stronger and more saleable. We had several exciting close-call deals and a few heart-racing moments while waiting for offers. My agent encouraged me to keep writing and truly believed that one day I’d hit it big.

Then something happened that sent my world into an unrecoverable tailspin; a close friend was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Here’s the kicker… he was given just two weeks to live! He went from his nine-to-five life, to knowing he had limited amount of time left. Having no close family, no insurance, and no money for treatment, he was left with little option except to die alone in his apartment. It is then that my wife decided to hospice him. I wholly supported her.

It was an incredibly powerful experience watching as my friend’s life slipped away and how he dealt with it psychologically as the physicality got worse. Eight days after his initial diagnosis he was dead. I pulled the bed sheet over his head. I’ve never been the same since.

As a writer, I wanted to capture something of the moment and relay what I experienced watching and talking with a lucid person as their life was ending. Having never written literary fiction, I suddenly found myself cemented in front of my computer in the throes of typing DROP OUT.

When I sent the completed manuscript off to my agent, he was extremely disappointed that I had gone this literary route and had no intentions of ever trying to sell the book. I had no intentions of letting the book sit in a drawer, so after a few emails and telephone calls to the agency we decided to end our nearly four year partnership. I published the ebook version of DROP OUT a month later not expecting much to come of it. Then something amazing happened…