Captain Shelby is still alive. I saw him a few days ago in Heiligenhafen (Holy Harbor). As I helped him hold his tried but stoic rope, it occurred to me that he still had some things to say. Currently working on a Titanic-based historical thriller in my peaceful artist studio in Luneburg, Germany, I have not disappeared, only changed my publishing strategy.
After I finished the Captain Shelby Trilogy, I just could not do it anymore. I just could not keep ebbing out my life like some doe-eyed donor volunteering his rare type O Negative blood until he collapsed. I have great respect for authors who choose to frequently publish novels, whether they be self-published or through non-traditional publishers. However, after yet another novel that failed to fully reach its readers, I realized that my publishing strategy was in need of major overhaul.
Sometimes I wish I wrote cozy mysteries or other commercial series books, or was able to write non-fiction and still have energy for my own novels. I really do. Sometimes I wish I could perform some kind of literary lobotomy and cleanse Captain Shelby’s curse from my veins. But, just as Captain Shelby can never cease being Captain Shelby, I can never remove the literary soul from my voice. And, even if I could, insincerity simply would not sell, or be good enough for you; I could never let down those few of you who are reading this … who have read and enjoyed my books. After all, this blog is for you, first and foremost. It always has been.
Life is simply too short to accumulate more regrets; we all have enough of them already. In short, I realized that the traditional publishing route, though a long, winding road with no end in sight, is the only road for me. Shrouded in the beautiful tragedy of a literary voice, my only hope to find my readers is through the Gatekeepers (established literary agents and large publishers). Only they possess the ability to put wings on my novels and send them out to more readers like you everywhere. In short, I have learned that the Internet, while it may give launch wings to some writers, it will never give launch wings to me.
My current novel in progress, an historical thriller about an aspect of the Titanic tragedy upon which I deeply feel the world needs to be more educated, may come out by 2017-2018.
Here is where I ask for the greatest things a writer can ask of his readers: faith and patience. Faith, that I am doing the best thing for you and other readers like you, and patience, that when another novel comes out, whether it be my current one, or another one in future years, that something else will be published by me … something real and uncompromising.
For those of you who have supported my songwriting (I was a songwriter long before I wrote my first novel), I want you to know how deeply grateful I am that you are willing to support other canvasses by the same artist (e.g., your votes for the song, “Blowing Away” are moving it to the top ten in the World Wide Music Contest) as I write this.
Yours in future novels,