My First Book Taught Me Patience
Ordinary World is my first published book, but not my first book. I made my first serious attempt at a novel in 1988. It’s called Simple Twist, and it’s the story of an ordinary guy who tries to solve a murder. It was originally intended to be the first of a series. Later, I changed my mind and wrote a prequel to it, so now it’s the second book in the series. (The first one, Domino Theory, should be published in a week or so.)
I thought I finished Simple Twist in 1999. It was the first book I had actually completed, and I was proud of it. I even found an agent, who shopped it around. She got an offer from an e-publishing house. E-publishers were pretty new then, and she advised me to hold out for a print publisher. Then my agent disappeared. Her phone was disconnected, and she stopped responding to my emails. At the time, I wished I’d taken the e-publisher’s offer.
Since then, I have realized that Simple Twist wasn’t ready. It still isn’t. After more than twenty-five years of intermittent work on it, it’s now in its seventh draft. Nevertheless, I can see that the main character needs more depth, and that there are decisions he makes that don’t appear logical. I think I’m now ready to finish it, but lately I’ve been too busy on other projects.
Writing Simple Twist has been a lesson in many ways. Perhaps the most important is that, as an author, I want to see my book in print. But a book isn’t finished until it’s finished.