How Does It Feel?
I’m not what you can call a “lifer” in the writing world. Unlike many, I didn’t always want to be one—hell, I didn’t “always want to be” anything specific, but that is another story for another day—but I can say I had an enjoyment of reading in my younger days. I also had an “itch” about writing, but it was always just below the surface, far enough down so as not to be annoying and thus allowing me to simply ignore it.
That has changed.
In the past three years I’ve written three full-length novels, two of which are now available in eBook format, but until recently, still had no idea what it really felt like to be a writer. Sure, the stores existed, but they didn’t really “feel” like anything. They were—and are—nothing more than computer code displayed on the screen of a laptop or eReader device of choosing, very much intangible in nature.
That, too, has changed.
I’ve now held my book for the first time.
When the UPS truck dropped off the small box and I opened it, my life changed. It was a moment I’ll never forget. Yes, the box contained nothing more than a “proof” copy, but it was real, tangible evidence that I’d actually completed the journey from an abstract idea to a finished product. (Well, not entirely finished—I found more blemishes in the paint than I’d have liked, but all are easily fixed; it’s why they call it a “proof” copy after all.)
Getting to this moment was very much a journey, part learning experience, part test. The learning experience has been both internal and external. Internal in that I had no clue how to write a novel. I simply started typing and close to 200,000 words later, realized I had something, but wasn’t sure exactly what. Edits and rewrites followed, carving and re-carving until the “story” materialized.
But that was merely the beginning, the “hard part” as many described it.
I know now those “many” were wrong.
The hard part is what came next. Research on writing and how this business works filled many days. I picked up suggestions and guidance on what a “first” book should be and, more importantly, what it shouldn’t be. That led to discovery of what “traditional publishing” was all about. That I had to have an agent to get anywhere, that “self-publishing” was some kind of vanity thing for lesser persons.
So I looked for agents who were in my genre, and began the process of querying. Be patient, “they” all said. And so, patience became my friend. But then, I found an agent. I convinced him that I was a writer. I showed him that I had a unique story worthy of publication. He said he believed me, believed “it” to be true.
But again, it was all wrong.
Eighteen months later, with nothing to show but far too few attempts and rejections, the agent stopped believing, he had “run out of options” and “needed to move on” to others in his flock. I could have simply given up, but the itch was no longer to be ignored, the need to feel was too great. I’d written a story. It deserved to be given its time in the light. That’s what I did.
And now, using tools no longer thought “second class” by more and more in the world, I have a real book sitting on my desk. I have fans who replaced the empty belief of my traditional agent with tangible evidence that I can do this, that I HAVE done this. It’s all very real.
And it FEELS great.
Synopsis: Major league umpire Marshall Connors believes a vacation cut short is a reasonable price to pay for the opportunity to work the World Series. But that price rapidly escalates when he finds himself in the middle of more than the game on the field. Secrets, lies, and revenge spark a fiery collision between past and present and Marshall quickly realizes some things are better left alone.
Synopsis: Major League umpire Marshall Connors longs for a return to the relative obscurity of his profession, and the simplicity of the game he loves. A new relationship gives him hope that the worst is behind him. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, good people do bad things. And sometimes, people are just plain bad…
Allen Schatz currently lives in southwestern PA with his wife of 25 years. He has two grown children, but their absence from home is more than compensated for by “other” children (two dogs). When he’s not writing, he is self-employed as a finance/accounting consultant, specializing in budgeting and planning systems. His love of baseball extends beyond the canvas for his novels; he’s been an amateur umpire for 30+ years, currently working high school and older youth level play, and a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan.
Find out more about him online at his website: http://www.allenschatz.com
Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: raschatz
GAME 7: DEAD BALL, his debut novel, has received high ratings and numerous reviews, and will be available in print beginning July 2011; get the eBook version now, along with the follow-up, 7TH INNING DEATH, at the many outlets listed at: http://www.allenschatz.com/wherebuy.html.