... it’s a very good place to start. That’s what the song says, anyway.
Like any good story, it usually helps to begin by giving the reader some backstory to the characters they are about to meet. So,without further ado, here is a brief history of how my book, Towards Yesterday, came to be.
In February of 2003, my wife and I hit the roughest patch of our lives to date. We lost our home in LA, and faced losing what little we had left, including having to give-up our two dogs if we decided to stay in LA and move into an apartment. After a lot of discussion, we made a bold decision — rather than lose the animals and stay in LA, we would move to Nevada, close to Las Vegas, keep our animals and start afresh. It was the only choice we could make and hope to keep our animals with us.
By the time we had paid for the moving truck rental and a couple of guys to help us pack our belongings, we had enough money left over to make a first and last payments on our rental. We were left with the grand sum of $1,000 in our bank account and worse, no jobs.
My wife found a job quickly (thank goodness), I on the other hand was not so lucky; there wasn’t much call for an out of work writer. Luckily, the money my wife was making at her new job was enough to keep us ticking over — after all the bills were paid we were left with less than $20 each month. To make matters worse, that September would be my wife’s 40th birthday, and I didn’t even have the money to buy her a card, let alone a present. So, being the resourceful kind of a man I am, I decided I’d spend my free time between job hunting and write her a present.
The result was a 74,000 word sci-fi adventure called Towards Yesterday. The book follows the adventures of James Baston (and a cast of billions) after an experiment gone disastrously wrong throws humanity 25-years into the past. It’s all very exciting stuff, if I do say so myself. You can read the synopsis here or click on the link at the top of the page. I’ve also made the first five chapters available for free here. Of course, if you’re feeling really dangerous, you can buy the book for your Kindle by clicking here or your Nook by clicking here.
I’m pleased to say that my wife was very happy with her gift. So, mission accomplished, right?
Wrong! The story could end right there and I’d have the happy ending needed for closure, but it actually gets better.
A friend of ours back in LA read a copy of the book and decided to send it to her brother (thank you Judy), a Pulitzer Prize wining writer, who in turn, sent it to his literary agent. I thought nothing of it, but late one Sunday evening I received a call. It was the New York agent who, to make a long conversation short, told me that he loved the book and wanted to represent me … as long as I was willing to make some changes to the story.
I was stunned. Most writers have to wait for years to grab the attention of an agent, and I had managed to get one without even trying. Now thats what you call luck!
And then, I got a job. It wasn’t a great job, but it took up all my time. Months passed and I was never able to quite find the time to make the changes that the agent needed. We exchanged a couple more phone calls until I finally just explained that I really didn’t think I was going to have the time to dedicate to doing the rewrites he needed.
And that, as they say, was that.
The book has languished on my computer’s hard drive for the past seven years, until last month when I realized what a complete and utter idiot I had been. (I know, I’m slow to catch on sometimes).
My wife and my lives are immeasurably better now. We have a beautiful new home to call our own, my wife runs her own successful business and I have a pretty good copywriting business of my own. I finally have some time to call my own.
So, in April of 2011, I tracked down the Towards Yesterday manuscript and began making some changes, updating the story and editing the copy. The result is much like the Six Million Dollar Man – my book is now bigger, stronger, faster (paced) than before. I’m proud of it.
Rather than try and shop the book around to a new agent, I’ve decided to follow the ePublishing trail being blazed by indie authors such as John Locke and Joe Konrath by publishing Towards Yesterday myself. This blog will be my attempt to chart my progress from a nobody to literary superstar (one can but hope). I would be honored to take you along for the ride.
Somewhere in the Nevada Desert
May 8th, 2011