Nearly two years ago, I lost my job of 29 years as a college professor of computer science. Like many Americans, I quickly realized that recent changes in the economy and the education landscape would make it unlikely to find satisfactory work. After my wife and I adjusted our financial plans, I thought about what I might do. Even though I had never before considered writing, I came up with an idea about a non-fiction book about baseball fandom. I outlined the concept and began writing. It was early October.
On Halloween of 2012, my daughter called to inform me that November was National Novel Writing Month. I figured that maybe I should work out the bugs of writing before I tackle my baseball opus. That night, I came up with an idea based upon an old family story. I began Flash Mob the next day. Flash Mob integrates fiction with some adapted autobiographical material. I knew where the story began and ended, so I made an outline in the form of a calendar. I blocked out the story in the form of vignettes in a chronology to advance the story.
Having no experience writing, I worked in an extremely linear manner. The story came together extremely well. I must admit, that aside from a few minor continuity issues, I changed very little content through the editing process. The structure was a different story. I would encourage any writer to retake seventh grade English before starting a project. The rules of commas, periods, and capitalization were lost for me. Fortunately, I had tremendous help with the editing.
Somehow, in a year and six weeks, I had gone from never having considered writing a novel to holding a complete hard copy in my hand. There are two more remarkable aspects to this story. First, I was extremely careful about investing money into the project. I was able to get professional artwork and editing for free through some very supportive relations. Through self-publishing, I spent only $10.00 on the ISBN, and did everything else myself. Not only can I say that I am published author, but I am in the black as well. The second remarkable outcome is that the work is really good.
Flash Mob is a comedy – romance – mystery. Everyone who has read it told me three things. They laughed out loud, they identified with the characters, and they did not see the ending coming. I cannot think of a better review, and I currently have 27 of them on Amazon as I write this. I am currently working on the sequel to Flash Mob (it takes place on a cruise ship). I also continue to add essays to my blog (www.thesmartestguyiknow.wordpress.com). I participate weekly in a writer’s group called the Parkland Writer’s Café.
Find out more at http://www.flashmobthenovel.com
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