Monday, December 7, 2009

Working on the book, "Murder Behind the Closet Door"

I know that a lot of blog readers are also writers. If you're a writer reading this, you know how much fun, yet how difficult writing can be...especially if you take on a 600 page novel.

In 2002 I got laid off from a job as a graphic designer. I decided two things: one, I'd look for a much better job that suited my talents, and two, I wouldn't spend my idle time at home being idle. So, as I looked for a great job, I also did a few things around the house...built some bookshelves...worked on my 53 Chevy...and started writing a book.

I never intended to publish the book. I never even intended anyone to read was really for me, a collection of memories from my youth, dreams, nightmares, and ideas. I had no outline, no real plot...just a basic story idea, a style in which to write it, and a lot of little facts to stick in for fun.

After I wrote the first few pages, I showed it to my wife. To my surprise, she thought it was actually good...really good, worth developing. Now, my wife ain't the type to just say something like that to make me feel good. If it sucked, she would have said so. And since she reads two to three books a week, I took her word for it.

So I continued on, free-flow, just typing along anything that came to mind. And after about three weeks the first draft was completed (except for the end). But it needed a LOT of polishing. And an ending.

On and off over the next year I played around with it. I got the great job I was looking for after only three months, so the time I had to devote to it was getting slim, but I'd stay up late and work on it until two in the morning, sometimes three. This got me a lot of writing done, but also got me a hell of a lot of typos!

Over the next two years, I added entire new chapters to it, re-arranged it, edited it, cut things out, added things in, expanded characters, and eventually came up with an ending that I liked, that made sense. I insisted that all of my characters made choices that made sense, not ones that made it easy to propagate the story. This made things a little harder, but it made the story a lot better.

I wanted to write a book that I would enjoy reading myself. Now, seven years later, I've gone over it and over it, knocking out the goofs, tweaking things here and there, looking at it from an editor's view (ow) and finally getting it in the final stages of being production ready.

I've got a few more typo's to fix, and a couple of lines need to flow a little sweeter, but besides that the book is finished. I have no delusions of ever getting an agent or publisher to seriously look at it, since the publishing industry is so tight and so impenetrable. I wish I knew someone in the biz, because I think this book could really take off. It's got murder, sex, violence, ghosts, suspense, and mystery all wrapped up in a well-written, easy-read package.

The story takes place in Wildwood and Ocean City, New Jersey, primarily in the winter of 1978/1979, with flashbacks to the 30's and 50's. It gives the reader a real sense of what things were like at the time, and will bring back a lot of memories for those who lived through that era.

Tonight, I managed to get through final proofing of a dozen pages. I found an average of one typo per page, mostly small punctuation issues or things like "then" instead of "them". I have only about 300 pages left to proof, then it's off to CreateSpace for printing, so I can at least get a couple of books for myself and friends. Sure, it will go up for sale; I'll market it with what little budget I have, and maybe even sell a few copies. Maybe, if lady luck smiles on me, someone with clout will notice it, and if they think it's good enough I might even get a book deal. Well, I know there are a million+ people thinking the same thing about their books, so I won't hold my breath. But I can dream, can't I?

For more information on Murder Behind the Closet Door visit my official website at

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