Sunday, September 25, 2016

Making Book

My novel, Born Speaking Lies, is going to be published on Saturday.

That sounds so strange to me. After all the time, energy, and grief I put into the manuscript it’s a little hard to believe it’s actually going to be a book.

I’ve racked up an untold amount of rejections, and I got awfully close to a deal with one publisher a few years ago, but they turned me down because they don't do crime fiction.

Finally the lovely people at Fomite Press in Burlington, Vermont agreed to publish my story about a bunch of Brooklyn gangsters who raise a whole lot of hell between here and the Poconos.

And so here we go.

I started writing this book on a typewriter back when my parents were still alive, my two nieces had yet to be born, and Reagan was president.

Now I can’t honestly say I’ve worked on the book for all those years—not even close. I’d put it aside, take up some other project that I was certain would pay off handsomely, only to see that effort come up empty.

Take it from one who knows, multitasking is the biggest scam of the century. All you get for your misguided efforts is a pile of half-finished projects and a whole lot of frustration.

And I’d rewrite and revise, over and over. Something wouldn’t look right and I’d tear it up and start all over again. In one sense I’ve actually written several books.

In that time I moved from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania to Connecticut and then back to Brooklyn, taking various versions of the story with me from place to place.

I rejoiced in becoming an uncle twice, changed jobs God alone knows how many times, saw my parents grow and die, and bid farewell to our family home.

Chapter and Verse

All the while the book was looming in the background someplace waiting for the next rewrite.

I have to ask myself did I really want to finish it or did I just want to keep on revising the manuscript until I traded my keyboard for a harp.

The thing about constant rewriting is that you can tell yourself how great your work is going to be when it’s finished without ever having to produce the goods.

I thought about giving up, too, going on to a different story. But now that I’ve held the book in my hands, seen my name on the cover and read my words on the pages, I’m very glad and thankful that I kept going.

Now I have to publicize the book, which feels uncomfortable after all of these years as a reporter. I’m used to PR people pitching ideas to me; it’s weird contacting reporters and trying to get some ink.

I’m terrified that people will hate the book, that it’s not good enough, that I’ve deluded myself into thinking I could write a novel.

But that’s just more negativity that I don’t need. I have to remind myself that I’ve done something that millions of people have promised to do but never delivered: I’ve written a book.

I’ll be starting up on the next book soon and this time I’m going to organize my thoughts better and cut down on the rewrites. This time I’m going to take less time.

I dedicated the book to my parents, though I know my mother would not have approved of the salty language that appears throughout the story. (Sorry, Mom)

I simply say to them “wish you were here.” And those are the truest words I’ve ever written.

15 comments:

Walaka of Earth 2 said...

Awesomesauce,pal! Be sure to let us know when it's available for purchase!

Rob K said...

Will do! And thanks!

Ron said...

First I want to say.....CONGRATULATIONS, ROB!!!! I am soooooooooo freaking happy for you! OMG...it must feel so great to have your book published!

*cheers*

"In that time I moved from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania to Connecticut and then back to Brooklyn, taking various versions of the story with me from place to place."

I love how you said that because it just shows that very often (especially with something like writing a book) it takes time, and life experiences, to add and subtract what is needed to bring the end result to fruition.

Again, congrats to you, buddy! And I'm sure your parents look down from above and are very proud of your accomplishment!

P.S. I'll be thinking of you on Saturday when your book is published!

Ron said...

Ooops, forgot to mention in my previous comment that I love the book cover photograph!

Rob K said...

Ron, thank you so much for these wonderful comments! That line about my folks brought a tear to me eye!

And this is such a brilliant line: "it takes time, and life experiences, to add and subtract what is needed to bring the end result to fruition." Ain't that the beautiful truth, my brother!

The publisher suggest that image for the jacket and I believe it was an excellent choice!

Thanks again, buddy, and do take care!

Denise Flanagan said...

Sending you love, light and congratulations!

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you, Denise! I really appreciate your support!

Bijoux said...

OMG! That is sooo exciting, Rob! Congratulations!!!!! And I love the jacket cover, too. I'm impressed that you started the book that long ago, but managed to keep track of it through all those moves - LOL! Well, you did it and I'm quite proud to say I knew you when . . .

Way to go!

Rob K said...

Bijoux, thank you so much! That's so kind of you! It's been a long, strange trip!

valerie said...

this is great news, rob. congrats! i'm positive your book will do great. you're an excellent writer.

Rob K said...

Oh, Val, thank you so much! That's very kind of you!

A Cuban In London said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Yes, I know that capital letters might come across as TOO LOUD, but you deserve it. Well done, mate. Really, well done.

Greetings from London.

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you so much, my brother. The capital letters are JUST FINE! I really appreciate your support! All the best and do take care.

bonnie said...

Adding to the congratulations, better late than never! I'll definitely buy a copy when it comes out, "a bunch of Brooklyn gangsters who raise a whole lot of hell between here and the Poconos" sounds like something I'll enjoy.

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you, Bonnie! That's so kind of you! Hope all is well!