|C. Kevin Thompson|
I always get inspired by hearing other authors’ stories. We always think writers became household names overnight. Climbed the New York Times’ Bestseller List with their first book. Yet, for many of us, that simply wasn’t the case. So, as I tell my story, I hope it will inspire and challenge others to persevere and save some from pitfalls this business can have waiting in the shadows.
By the mid-’90s, I had published several articles in various Christian publications and was set to continue that path for however long I cared to do it. However, the creative bug bit me years prior, and I thought, “Why not try my hand at writing a novel?” Little did I know what that thought involved.
As a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, I started writing what became a novel entitled, A Case of Deja Vu. I thought it was good for a first novel by someone who was darker than Kelly green when it came to “the business.” I did a little research and sent it off to some Christian publishing houses thinking this was the great American, Christian novel they all had been waiting to read. (Have you ever thought that way before?) So, you can guess the huge dose of disappointment I incurred when the rejections letters and rejection postcards came streaming into my mailbox. I appreciated the personal touch the postcards conveyed.
Believing in my work, I did a little more research and found that most houses only accepted “agented” manuscripts (mss). So, you guessed it. I farmed out my mss to agents. The same results occurred. Devastated, I staggered away like a boxer who just failed to beat the ten-count.
So, I placed my novel on the back burner and continued to write a few more articles, which were published. This success prompted me to trudge ahead with the novel.
Then, one day, I found an agent who said she would love to offer me a contract and represent me. She praised my work and said it was one of the best novels she had ever read from an unpublished author. You can imagine my delight. So, I sent her the required contract and the $300 signing fee….
I can hear you now. “Uh-oh. Didn't he know good agents never charge up front?”
I only found the website Preditors & Editors AFTER the whole ordeal. So, in my zeal “to be published,” I followed the “professional” instructions of my agent to the letter. She sent me names and addresses of publishers she thought would be interested in my mss, and I sent them the listed items: a copy of the mss and a copy of a letter from her agency.
I never heard from any of the publishers. Not long afterward, I learned why.
She and her husband had been arrested for fraud.
I now get a check from their correctional facility in Texas. It’s the court-ordered attempt to pay back the $300 they stole from me. A few dollars and cents at a time. About three times a year.
Guess I should add that to my will.
When I realized what I had done by learning more about the industry, I felt about one-inch tall. Still do when I dwell on it. I allowed zeal and novice beliefs to trump reason and preparedness and became a casualty as a result.
Moral of Part 1: Patience and doing your homework by networking with those “in the know” will save you a great deal of grief and humiliation in the future. It will be money well spent.
Next month, I’ll continue my story.
A Clandestine Mission.
A Cryptic Message.
A Chaste Promise.
Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction—a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy his grandchildren some day.
But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in a London flat, Blake’s secretive past propels him into the middle of a vindictive, international scheme so hellish and horrific, it will take everything Blake possesses—all of it—to save the United States from the most diabolical terrorist attack to date.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school. He also has several years experience as an administrator at the high school level.
A former Language Arts teacher, Kevin decided to put his money where his mouth was and write, fiction mostly. Now, years later, Kevin is a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), American Christian Fictions Writers (ACFW), and Word Weavers International. He is the Chapter President of Word Weavers-Lake County (FL), and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (Winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, as well as articles in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.
Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog: www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com
Kevin’s Educational Blog: www.thehelpfuleducator.blogspot.com
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson