Winston Churchill wrote 44 books in his lifetime—two or three of them before the age of 25. Although no slouch when it came to the English language, the guy was obviously a glutton for punishment. When accepting the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1949, he explained the process of writing a book: “To begin with it is a toy, then an amusement, then it becomes a mistress and then it becomes a master and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”
I’ve just started book number six—and, at the same time, am correcting page proofs for book number five. I also work a full-time job and am in the process of moving. At least I don’t have Nazi Germany to deal with. So, what’s the point of all this? I’ve decided to write a blog and record the progress of my latest manuscript. Here are the particulars:
Publisher: Penguin’s Berkley Caliber imprint, which specializes in military history.
Genre: Narrative non-fiction (an historical thriller).
Publisher’s desired word count: Approximately 90,000.
Publisher’s deadline: December 1, 2011.
Author’s self-imposed deadline: Hoping to have a first draft done by the end of March.
Many would-be writers dream of achieving Stephen King-type success, enjoying massive advances and power lunches with New York’s literati. I sure do! Unfortunately, that’s the exception and not the rule. Part of my intent here is to provide a more realistic picture of what it means to be an author. Writing the book is the easy part . . . getting people to read it is the challenge! I hope you’ll find my missives here entertaining and, perhaps, informative!