It took fourteen years, from start to finish, but I finally published novel #1.
I started writing Pieces of Home in the year 2000. The first draft was 100 pages: a loose collection of scenes. I continued to add, subtract, tweak and refine for several years, then lay it aside for about a decade. During this time, people would occasionally find out I’d written a novel, and ask to see it, so I’d send them a PDF. After a half dozen or so people read it happily and told me they enjoyed it, with no complaints, I started thinking maybe it was time to publish it.
So then I began a process that lasted 8-9 months, much like the gestation of a newborn. There was rereading, rewriting, confusion about ellipses and em dashes. I paid two different people to formally review and edit the book for me. I crafted the text and graphical content in Adobe InDesign CS5, and did the cover in Photoshop. My graphic design background must have paid off because my documents were approved by CreateSpace on the first try.
What is it about?
Skye Thorson—poet, web designer and collector of spoon rests—comes home from public speaking class to discover her house has burned down. Still reeling from her divorce and the loss of her restaurant business, and with no trusted family to fall back on, she goes to stay with her classmate Iya Forsythe and his eccentric relatives. She soon finds herself intensely curious about the puzzling Forsythe family, headed by Orvie and his brother, Marlow. Thrust into the role of part-time parent to an eleven-year-old girl with anger management issues and a fourteen-year-old boy hung up on the contents of a jar in his desk drawer, Skye begins to find the strength to cope with her estranged brother, while picking up the pieces of her own life. Written in the form of a diary, Pieces of Home takes an honest but humorous look at the emotional factors that lead to homelessness, violence and trauma in families.
How can I buy Pieces of Home?
1. You can purchase the book via Amazon in the USA, or in the UK, or France, Germany, Italy or Spain. At some point it will also be available in Canada.
2. If you have a CreateSpace account or don’t mind signing up for one, you can purchase it via this link.
3. If you would like a signed copy, please contact me directly. The cost will be $16, which includes shipping to anywhere in the USA.
4. There’s also a Kindle version coming.
Some of you think of Amazon as this evil global empire, but I still remember when I moved to Seattle in the mid-nineties, and they were a cute local website that called itself “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.” When they started selling Compact Discs (remember those?) I was thrilled. By the time they added Kitchen stuff and and Clothing, I was concerned they might be overdoing it, by by that point I was working in the tech industry myself. Convenience and good customer service won the day for me, both as an Amazon shopper and as a Print On Demand Author.
Which brings me to…
The Print on Demand model really appeals to me, because the book doesn’t exist in a book shaped form until someone orders one, then they print it and ship it to you. I have a friend (Franetta McMillian) who used CreateSpace to publish two of her books, and I read about other authors’ success with it as well. The fact that they were willing to do an Editorial Eval of my book for just $199 was a big plus. I went with an independent editor for the nitty gritty editing, however, as it was much more affordable to do so.
So if you are at inclined toward literary fiction with a comedic bent, I hope you will consider checking out my book. If you are on Goodreads, you can also find me there.