Friday, January 22, 2016

My Story (Part 3) by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

After my incident with the unscrupulous agent (Part 1 of my story can be found here) and my aversion to Christian writers conferences and fledgling, self-publishing houses (Part 2 of my story can be found here), I understood one very important thing: You have to keep writing. It’s a lot like any worthwhile pursuit in life. If you want to be good at something, even at a professional level, you have to practice. Study the playbook. Know all the basics, the nuances, and tricks of the trade to be the best. For in this business, aren’t we all attempting to be professionals? If not, we should be. Otherwise, it’s the arena leagues of life for the rest of our careers. Say, “Goodbye,” to your “NFL” dreams.

On this road to publication, the common fallacy is to believe those New York Times bestselling authors out there, whose work you love to read when it’s released, wrote his or her first bestseller and immediately skyrocketed to stardom. Often, though, that is not the case. Rarely does an author write the great American novel on his or her first try. Usually, there are works in the files, stored away, that will never see the light of a bookstore. There are often several lesser known works flailing away in mid-list purgatory. Even Michael Crichton, with all his success, had Pirate Latitudes tucked away in his files. My guess is it would have remained there if he was still alive.

So, getting back to my story, after reading scads of books on writing, I realized that while I suffered the agony of defeat in the form of rejection letters and emails, coupled with the raw nerves of being duped by the bad agent, I was not going to improve unless I kept writing. So while A Case of Deja Vu slowly moved into the filing cabinet, I started work on my second novel, Q Do You Believe?, based on the Star Trek-TNG series. This work was strictly a labor of love and written for my oldest daughter because we both were big ST fans. It was never intended to be submitted for publication. It was to be a gift for her 16th birthday. I proudly presented it to her on her 18th birthday.

So much for deadlines.

I then tried my hand at YA fiction, completing the first book in a proposed series entitled The Doulos Files, titled after the Greek word for a “servant.” The series was designed to be used in youth groups to help spark discussions and teach members about servanthood in the Kingdom of God. Did I try to get it published? Yes. I farmed it out. And I got rejected. I got discouraged, too. However, I didn’t quit, although the thought had crossed my mind a time or two.

All the while, I studied up on self-publication and had almost settled on a new self-publishing house which was affiliated with a big publishing house everyone would know if I mentioned it. If the book did well, then the big parent house would pick it up. Sounded good to me. Everything, except the price. Several thousands of dollars if I went with the Cadillac of packages offered? Only a couple thousand if I picked the Yugo package. However, even if I had the money, which I didn't, spending that much moola was a high hurdle for me to jump.

Then, I received a flyer from a writer’s conference. The cost of going to the conference fit the budget better, but I still had my hang up about conferences to overcome. After praying about it, I felt led to give the conference a try. If it proved to be a waste of time, then I’d pat myself on the back for having my spiritual reservations confirmed and start saving my pennies for an incursion into the land of self-publication.

Moral of Part 3: Stop talking about that next book you want to write. Stop reading the rejection letters and throwing those pity parties for which we writers are so famous. Instead, write. Read about writing and write. Read the works of other authors you like to read. Then, compare your writing. How does theirs differ? What makes their writing good by industry standards? Find those answers and apply it to your writing. And never stop. Even when you get published, you’ll always feel it could have been better.

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

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