Welcome, Bill! It's an honor to host you, and to be a part of your critique group in IWW. Thank you for making the time to share your experience with everyone in the Quiet Laughter community.
Ladies & gents, a round of applause for newly published BILL WELDY!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Like so many before me (well, not many are before me--I started writing in 1955), I have written and written until my file drawers are full of unpublished manuscripts.
I simply can’t stop writing. Believe me, I have tried.
And like so many others (including world-famous authors), I could paper my walls with rejection slips. But all the rejection letters accomplished was to convince me not to send manuscripts out.
Within the last few years the e-book market has opened new doors to budding authors. Not only has the trend opened wide the opportunity to self-publish, it has created a mass of small publishing businesses who specialize in e-books.
Small e-book publishers offer services that self-pubbers would normally have to pay for, like: cover design, professional editors, some limited marketing, and many other services. They usually offer no money up-front, like the traditional large publishing companies, but they provide the business of publishing, freeing the author to do what they do best – write.
During the time when e-books were starting to impact the publishing world, another great revelation came to me. Maybe I could actually improve my writing. I am a voracious reader of fiction-- mostly action/adventure brain fodder. I haven’t given that up, but I did start reading self-help books on the art of writing fiction.
WOW. I was doing some things all wrong. Yeah, I could use the English language to tell a story... But that was one of the big problems. My writing told the stories, rather than let the stories unfold through the eyes of the point of view character.
I joined a writer’s critique group (Internet Writers Workshop, or IWW) and received immediate feedback on just what was wrong with my stories. The group of helpful critters [IWW slang for critique partners] offered advice on stronger verbs, reducing telling filters, correct punctuation, suggested alternate ways to set up a scene and show the action that would give definition to my characters as well as hints to the plot. They were a great help in paring down unnecessary words to tighten the prose.
After submitting one of my stories a chapter at a time and getting feedback at IWW, I decided to try submitting the novel to publishers again.
I sent query letters out via email to three small e-book publishers (checked out on Predators & Editors), with little hope of positive results. I had, after all, sent hundreds of similar letters before with no luck.
When I received a response from one of the publishing houses, I actually thought someone had hacked into my email. They asked me to send the first three chapters of my novel. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-contract offer to publish.
Simple as that.
Had I been wasting my time in all my other attempts? NO. I was learning my trade – paying my dues, as they say.
The results? My latest novel, OUTLAWS, has been published by Musa Publishing, released on their website and Amazon. It will be up at Barnes & Noble very soon. In a blatant attempt at self-promotion I have included a short blurb below:
Ex-cop Josh Grant chooses to live as a recluse in the mountains of Idaho as penance for failing to protect his murdered wife and child in Detroit. His new serenity is shattered when he stumbles onto the murder of his only friend and an assault of his friend’s daughter, Jolene. By saving Jolene, Josh angers the Outlaws, a gang of vicious bikers. When they seek revenge, Josh must draw on old skills to keep him, and Jolene, alive.
Josh thought he left danger behind, but the Outlaws have other plans for his peaceful life.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
William Weldy is a retired police lieutenant from a large Ohio city. He grew up in small-town USA and still lives there with his wife, Pam, and dog, Abby. Frequently pestered by a horde of grandkids who try to interfere with his writing. Questions? wweldy1 (at) att (dot) net
Find him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/#1billweldy
Off you go now, people--get your copy of OUTLAWS, read it, review it, and then go write something wonderful!
Bill, again congratulations and thank you for sharing. What a magnificent journey! You know what's the best part? Those file drawers full of manuscripts. The Weldy collection, soon in bookstores near you!