Well, you wrote your first book! Congratulations! You are now a writer. Now what? Are you going to go back to your couch and watch TV again? I say keep on going and start your next book. If you are like me, you have 50 more stories in you! Quit worrying if your book will be good or not… you can publish it for nothing if you want too, so who cares what they think? Lets talk about that next book…
Listen to the tiny voice inside.
My first book was a no brainier. I loved the Navy and I was an expert on my life in the Navy, so I couldn’t lose. So, I kept on asking myself, what next?
One thing you have to careful of is facts. For example, if I write a story about firemen, I had better know what I am talking about, or I will get some heated feed back! The best way not to get into trouble (and not have to do a lot of research) is to use aspects that you already know.
When I was stationed in the Persian Gulf, I lived on the island of Bahrain. I was the Section Four Police Watch Commander, and I enjoyed it. One of the things I liked best about it was how we had to put our heads together and find out who the bad guys were. I always loved a mystery. But what did I know about writing a mystery book? I know what I like, so I decided I would start with a location that I found appealing. I have always loved the New England coast, and I have often dreamed of living there. But, my wife hates cold weather and snow, so here I am in Georgia. In my book, the story starts out in a small fishing town just north of Boston. My main character is an ex-military man maned Lyle (a nice, likable name.) So, now I have my setting and my main character, so I need a plot.
I couldn’t think of a plot, so I worked on other parts of the story. Maybe Lyle could join some kind of mystery club, and solve cases all over the county as an amateur sleuth. I could base his cases on the zip codes of small towns. OK, now I have a direction and many locations. Now I need a sinister woman… a villainess… I can name her something spooky like Miss Charlotte! YES! Now my imagination started flying! I never wrote so quickly and feverishly in my life. Soon, my second book was on sale worldwide, and “Mystery, USA” became my favorite mystery book. Once I filled the book with my likes and ideas, the rest was quite easy!
My accidental book…
When my wife and I lived in New Mexico a few years back, we adopted some boys from Ukraine. They were so adorable! David and Alex were only six months apart, and when they first came to live together, they were both a very cute two years old. About the same time, since I was the stay-at-home parent, I started posting on social media. Every day, those two little boys got into the funniest situation, and I wanted to share the experience with my family back home, so I wrote about it daily.
As the years went by, I noticed that people were sharing the stories with their friends, and before I knew it, I had over a thousand followers. So, I decided to bring them all together and make a book of the posts and pictures, so my third book was published: “My buddies, cuddles and chaos.” This book was a favorite with older audiences. It also make a great Christmas gift, so I guess it was a success.
Immortalizing wonderful memories.
In 1997, I was station on a ship that was sailing through a hurricane. As I was carrying something heavy, the ship rolled and I fell, fracturing my L5 vertebra. So, I was state side recovering for the next eight months. While I was recovering, I needed something to do, so I volunteered at a local nursing home, where I held a cooking class for the Alzheimer patients. In the time I was at the nursing home, I fell in love with the patients there. Everyone had either dementia or Alzheimer’s, and I was accused of every evil thing that happened in their lives. My old friend Beulah attacked me with a lamp one day because she though I was he husband from forty years before, and obviously, I had cheated on her!
In my next detective book, the “Silver Sower,” I made sure the mastermind behind the crime ring was an occupant of the Alzheimer wing of a nursing home. It was kind of my way to immortalize my dear friends who are now all gone.
When you ask yourself that question: Should I write book #2, the answer should be an easy one. Yes! After writing my autobiography and three detective books, I decided I would try a set of children’s books. The thing about writing for children is they are very unforgiving… if the book stinks, you will know quickly. I decided that I would use the basics… animals, kids jokes and children’s stories from the bible. So, the “Tiny Traveler” series of children’s books was written. Now these book were not very popular in America, but they did well in the United Kingdon and Africa. The greatest part about writing today is that nowhere in the world is off limits! You can sell a book in Australia as quickly as you can to the guy across the street. The bottom line here is don’t be afraid to try other venues when you write.
What I am trying to tell you is…
This is the greatest time in history to write and publish a book. If you have to money to hire professional publishing companies, more power to you. They will do and excellent, flawless job. But in today’s world you don’t have to avoid writing just because of money. I tried both sides of the street and once the smoke cleared, I saw very little difference. Write the books that you want to write. Write about your children. Write about your dog. Write about anything you want to write about. When you days come toward the end, and you are looking back at your life, don’t be the person who says “I only wish I would have written that book.” Now, put on your pajamas and grab a cup of coffee. Its time to start writing!