Tuesday, November 16, 2021

I Wrote My First Book in a Day!

To be honest, I not only wrote my first book in a day, I wrote and published my first book in a day.

The day was October 5, 2011. I was working on a novel I never published, learning the craft of writing. Before I went to a party at Lorenzo's house that night, the news flashed up on my screen: Steve Jobs Dead.

Armed with my knowledge of Lulu's self-publishing platform, I decided I would publish the first posthumous book about Steven Jobs. I'm pretty sure I did. Quotes from Steve Jobs was available for sale on Lulu before I left for the party.

Ten years later, I'm not exactly sure why I published the book. Maybe I thought it would be cool to write and publish a book in a day, but probably I thought I'd earn some kind of first-to-market advantage in the avalanche of books about the Apple founder

The search engines goddesses didn't notice. There was no first-to-market advantage. No sales. What I did learn is that selling a book takes more than making making it available online.

Until last week when I friend found it on Lulu, I forgot I'd published the thing. No regrets and still kinda proud of getting Quotes from Steve Jobs out in a day. I've learned the payoff of writing comes with patience and perseverance.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Publishing Dear Mustafa

I've written a novel called Dear Mustafa and I'm currently working on publishing it. Here's a description of the book.

It’s September 2001. Peter is set to celebrate his long awaited Chelsea art gallery opening. Then his world collapses as he watches the World Trade Center towers collapse. In a brush with death, Peter has missed an ill-fated flight to San Francisco. The trauma of surviving 9/11 stirs in him memories of the trauma he has sidestepped for a decade, the death of his lover Rano. Peter’s life craters even deeper when he discovers Rano’s journal, a journal addressed to a son named Mustafa in Algeria. Mustafa is not the only revelation that haunts Peter. Over the next year, his struggles to understand Rano and 9/11 paralyze his desires to love and to paint.

Counterpointing Peter’s struggles are Rano’s diary entries themselves, letters chronicling this brilliant early internet academic. The horrors of AIDS punctuate the thrills of his ACT UP activism and research discoveries.

Peter's story is shared by Rano’s great friend and sometime lover Brice, by the immigrant-turned-millionaire Linh, and by the gallery owner Erica, all determined that Peter will exhibit again. Hovering over everyone is Thomas, an African-American art collector suffering the loss of his own lover. The influential New Yorker must decide whether he seeks to embrace Peter's art or the man himself. The story crests on the first anniversary of 9/11 as Thomas waits to see how Peter will honor the event, and with whom.

 

I'm learning the difference between being a writer and an author. It's one thing to write a book and quite another to publish it.