Friday, November 27, 2015

My Story, Part 2—by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

After my incident with the unscrupulous agent (Part 1 of my story can be found here), I was left a little gun shy. To be perfectly honest, a little ticked, too. No one likes to be taken advantage of, and this embarrassing event forced me to learn what good agents do and don’t do.

Along the way, I also learned the business of writing novels was evolving. The pool of agents, who were touted as “agents who desire to see new authors’ works” by reputable magazines and Sally Stuart’s yearly reference work, seemed to be drying up. Instead, rejection letters stating interest in manuscripts from “already established authors” or “references from the aforementioned already established authors” seemed to be the trend. Despite my efforts at attempting to land an agent, it appeared the only thing I was accomplishing was helping to keep the United States Postal Service solvent.

Then, another evolutionary turn took place. Snail mail was replaced with email queries and submissions. This helped the budget, mind you, but it did little in way of encouragement.

Sometime later, I had read (or maybe I heard it) that the way to go was to attend writers conferences. There, at one of these forays, you could meet editors and agents face-to-face and “pitch” your work. This concept, I have to admit, turned me off for quite some time. I probably postponed my career about two years while I doggedly defied the better part of wisdom and held out from attending a conference while I kept submitting email queries.

My belief was (and don’t laugh, please) that writers conferences were just another step the Christian world had taken down the path of its secular counterpart. “Why do we always have to copy what the world does?”became my mantra. “And do I want to be a part of that?” My answer, for over two years, was, “Negative.” So, I started looking into self-publishing. I mean, if it was good enough for Mark Twain, it was good enough for me, right?

Now, remember, this was in the day when Author House wasn’t Author House. It was 1st Books. CreateSpace had not been invented by Amazon yet because Amazon had just been founded in 1994. All the other self-publishing venues were either in their infancy or still a twinkle in the eyes of their developers. I had some serious dialogue with 1st Books about A Case of Déjà Vu (my very first manuscript) and the ins and outs of publishing it with them. However, I had this feeling in my gut that this wasn’t the right path, either. This feeling was based on what I was seeing published by self-publishing houses. Let’s face it, in the early years, it wasn’t very good. That’s not to say that all the books that come through the traditional publishing routes and houses are all stellar. I’ve read some real groaners and wondered how many favors that editor must have paid off, cashed in, or collected with that one. However, my overall feelings about self-publishing, at that time, were ones of hesitancy. I always wondered if the $1,000-$2,000 I would have to spend to get my manuscript in print would be money well spent. This thought, coming on the heels of just being snookered by the bad agent, was one I was willing to think about for awhile longer.

Take out a loan for my book? Do I believe in it that much? Those were the questions of the day.

Moral of Part 2: Despite all the struggles, disappointments, frustrations, and pity parties, as a Christian writer, you have to keep your eyes on the One who called you to write in the first place. If you are not writing for Him, then you probably shouldn’t be writing (Colossians 3:23-24). 

Something ominous lurks under the waters.

Dr. Evelyn Sims, a brilliant marine biologist, is being watched. Her husband's mysterious death at sea—with the only survivor of the Greenback telling a shocking, unbelievable tale—has thrown her personal life into chaos. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her husband's office and their home are investigated. Called in by the FBI to help solve the mystery, Evelyn is thrust into her toughest research project ever...and forced into a maze of deception and betrayal.

Micah Gregson, the Coast Guard captain who rescued the Greenback, is determined to find out why a special unit at the FBI—the one assigned to cryptozoological cases—is involved.

Together Evelyn and Micah will uncover a plot more deadly than anything the ocean could ever produce. One that will either save Evelyn's life and redeem her career, or destroy everything she—and myriad others—stand for.

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:  
Kevin’s Educational Blog:  
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter: @CKevinThompson
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson