Monthly Archives: December 2013

Moving Right Along

As you know, after publishing three of my novels, two of which did very well, Amazon Publishing kicked me to the curb. At first, I was blinded by anger and I must admit, lots of four-letter words spewed from my mouth. But when my emotions calmed down and I returned from the abyss of self-pity, I realized that their decision not to publish Hypocrisy was not a rejection; it was an opportunity.

After doing some extensive research on the complexities of self-publication, I found the whole concept rather daunting. There are so many things to consider that I felt overwhelmed. Fortunately for me, having already published three novels, I had made some key contacts in the publishing world, so I started making phone calls and sending e-mails to a network of people who could help me through the maze of self-publishing.

The good news is that I found someone—actually, as luck would have it, she’s a long-time friend—to design the cover, format the manuscript, upload it to the publisher, and help me get some traction at various writing-related web sites. I am also talking to a woman who runs a very successful marketing and PR company specializing in promoting authors. Some of her clients have made it to the NY Times Bestseller list. And then there’s a dynamic literary agent who is currently reviewing the manuscript, and if she feels strongly about it, she’s agreed to represent me to the foreign markets. I also have arranged for an excellent editor to review and perform a final edit on the book. I’ve worked with her in the past and based on her uncanny ability to find even the most obscure mistakes or inconsistencies, I’ve given her the nickname, “Hawk Eyes”. If all goes well, Hypocrisy should be published as an e-book as well as a physical copy in late January or early February.

So, the wheels are in motion and I can’t wait until it’s published. And just in case you’re interested, here’s a very brief synopsis of Hypocrisy.

The story takes place in NYC and it’s a medical mystery. Dr. Lauren Crawford, a brilliant research scientist discovers a revolutionary treatment for cancer that not only extends life, but much improves the quality of life for terminal cancer patients. The treatment, in some instances, can cure certain cancers. On the evening before Dr. Crawford holds a press conference to announce that the FDA has approved her new cancer treatment, somebody blows her brains out. Now, two homicide detectives are assigned the task of trying to figure out who killed her and why. Was it a random shooting, or is there a deeper story?



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Good read, but Flawed

As a big fan of the TV series, Castle, I was curious to read one of Richard Castle’s books. So, after much thought, I bought a copy of Frozen Heat. First let me say that there was much to like about this book. The plot was interesting. There were many twists and turns, a few surprises, and a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Castle’s writing style is a little off-beat, yet entertaining. As a novelist myself, I often have a more discriminating and critical eye than the typical reader—especially when it comes to technical issues. Here are my gripes.

First off, the book is about 30 or 40 pages longer than it needs to be. I think there are passages that do not serve to propel the plot forward and they seem like fillers. There are also way too many characters. It seems that a new name pops up on every other page, and I found it often difficult trying to figure out who was who. Almost all of the dialogue is without attributes identifying the speaker. For the most part, it wasn’t difficult to figure out. However, many times I had to backtrack to be sure I knew who was talking. Lastly, this may sound petty, but in several scenes, the narrative is written through the eyes of multiple characters. One point-of-view per scene is the Golden Rule.

Overall, it’s a pretty good book and worth a read.

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Another Fork in the Road

Well, after waiting 46 days for Thomas and Mercer, a division of Amazon Publishing, to evaluate Hypocrisy, my fourth novel, feeling as if I was awaiting the results of a biopsy, my editor sent me a very tepid and impersonal, five sentence e-mail informing me that they’re not interested in publishing it. When you consider that Amazon published my first three novels and that over the years I have cultivated great professional and personal relationships with many key players on staff at Amazon, it seemed rather cold and insulting for them to kick me to the curb with not so much as a phone call or believable explanation. My editor justified their decision by simply saying that they already had a few mystery/thrillers that take place in New Your City, and that my book would not “compliment” their current list. Really?

First of all, how many novels, TV thriller series, cop shows, lawyer shows and a gazillion other avenues of entertainment take place in NYC? Clearly, Amazon’s rationale doesn’t make sense. Yes, Hypocrisy takes place in NYC, but it’s a medical thriller about a conspiracy to suppress a cure for cancer and the storyline is imaginative and original. I would have much more respect for Amazon if they simply told me that the book is total crap and it’s utterly sophomoric. I can respect honesty—no matter how painful. But I have zero tolerance for B.S.

So, after a great deal of soul-searching, I have decided to self-publish Hypocrisy. It can be a risky business, but my prior books have done pretty well, particularly They Never Die Quietly and Resuscitation. So, my hope is that Hypocrisy can hitch a ride on the success of my first three books.

Stay tuned for more updates.




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