Let me preface this for my sister [yes, my favorite sister out of three siblings, two of which are boys] before I write this piece: I will do something similar for you. Now, P-Shorty just hold onto your boot straps for a while longer.
Since that’s out the way, let me continue.
You may have heard by now that I have a three story collection out there on Amazon titled Along the Splintered Path. If you haven’t heard before now, well, now you have. Follow the link above and check it out. The reviews have been really good so far.
[[Side Note: I know that was a shameless plug and here is a shameless request to go along with that shameless plug: if you have read Along the Splintered Path, would you mind leaving a review? People really do read those things before deciding on buying a book. End Side Note]]
Occasionally in life you have a chance to do something nice for someone. Many folks don’t take these opportunities. We live in a world where it’s all about ME and if we can’t get anything out of it, well, then we’re not going to do it.
Let me say this to that mindset: When you do something nice for someone you do get something out of it. You get the satisfaction of helping a person(s) with something they needed and that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. And if feeling that does nothing for you… well, go ahead and stop reading now because nothing I say from here on will interest you.
As I mentioned above, recently a three story collection was published by Dark Continents Publishing in what is their Tales of Darkness and Dismay e-book release. I’ve done a bit of advertising and seeking out websites to review the book, as well as seeking out places to do guest blogs and interviews. Marketing is tough work.
[[Side Note: To you writers out there, if you have any suggestions on where to send requests to, I’m completely open to listening. Just drop me a note. It’s much appreciated. End Side Note]]
A few of my friends and family were not happy with me because I didn’t tell hardly anyone about the book until right before it came out. I did that on purpose and I’ll explain it briefly here: A few times last year things in the works fell through. I had mentioned these things to friends and family and then those things didn’t come to fruition. I’m not really the superstitious type, but I got tired of telling folks, ‘no, it’s not happening now,’ so I kept this one under wraps until it was a done deal. No need to jinx myself, you know?
In the process of telling folks after it came out, I missed a few people. One of them is a lady I have worked with for a while now. She and I had an instant bond when I saw her reading a Stephen King book when I first met her. We talked off and on after that. When I told her I was going to try my hand at writing, she encouraged me.
And encouraged me.
And encouraged me.
Do you get the idea that she maybe encouraged me?
Besides my wife, she is the only other person who truly believed that I could succeed (as much as success can be had) if I worked hard at it.
Occasionally she would read one of my stories or ask if I had anything for her to look at and I would give her the current project.
She has been a constant believer in me and my abilities. Even when I wasn’t so sure.
I passed by her desk recently and we started chatting about King’s 11/22/63. After a couple of minutes my book came up. The lady was excited. Her eyes dazzled—dazzled, I say—and her face lit up.
But, then the shine faded when she said she doesn’t have a Kindle and she doesn’t use a computer at home.
As a writer I want to get to as many readers as I can. But, this was one reader who wouldn’t be purchasing the e-book. I wasn’t disappointed that I wouldn’t be making a sell. I was disappointed that someone who had constantly believed in me and encouraged me wouldn’t be able to get the book.
I went back to my office and an idea formed. I have the PDF version of the story. I have the cover art. Why not make her a book? No, it wouldn’t be perfect bound like the presses but still… it was something in print that she could hold and read in bed if she wanted to.
I had the book printed out along with the cover art. Then I went to a local copy shop and had them bind the book with a clear front (there is a reason for this) and a hard vinyl back. Then I took it back to my office, pulled out a black Sharpie and signed the clear cover with her name, my name and sandwiched in between were the words:
Thank you for always believing…
A couple hours later I went back to see my friend.
“I have something for you.”
She gave me a curious look.
“It’s not much and it’s not an official print copy, but I had this made for you.” I proceeded to hand over a copy of my little collection.
Her face lit up and I swear her eyes got wet. She gave me a big hug and said ‘thank you’ several times. She then said, “I have every story you’ve ever sent me printed out and in a box at home.”
“Oh yes. I wanted to keep them for when you get famous. I can say I knew you when.”
There is more to this, but that is the gist of the story. You see, she believed in me, she thought I could do this writing thing. I’m going to be honest, I was never sure I could do it. Granted, I’ve not done much, but even a little success is more than a lot of folks have.
I walked away feeling all warm and fuzzy. I may not have made a sell, but I did keep a long time fan happy, one who always believed in me. And, really, isn’t that what this is all about?