My literary world has been busy this past year. I completed my third novel, Bonnie’s Law, The Return to Fairness, published by MindStir Media. The release date is upcoming, and I’m very excited. More on my book follows.
I’ve been interested in analyzing various authors’ works to hone my rookie writing skills, so I’ve filled the downtime for the last few months with lots of reading. Had there been the alphabet soup medical diagnosis in my childhood, I indeed would have been designated as one; ADHD, ODB, OCD, BBC..surely, one would have fit. Concentrating on the written word is something I simply cannot do. It was that way when I was eight and continues at sixty-six. Thankfully, Audible is a thing.
I read (listened to) Dan Brown’s controversial, The DaVinci Code this year. His fictional story about Jesus and Mary Magdalene being married and having children drew much furor from the Catholic Church. The mystery of the symbols burned into the curator’s body, the character of Silas, the hidden clues ingeniously disguised in DaVinci’s, The Last Supper. The revel of the Priory of Sion, a fraternal, secret society of intellectuals including Sir Issac Newton, Victor Hugo, and DaVinci, missioned to protect the Holy Grail. I marveled at Mr. Brown’s inventiveness until you read the court papers. Apparently, his wife had much to do with the creation of The DaVinci Code.
Brown had already captured me so I was compelled to read Angels and Demons. Again, symbols burned into the flesh of someone lead to a chase to find the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood, the Illuminati, determined to have science bring down the Catholic Church. The entire novel takes place over a one-day time frame, something I loved. The Camerlengos helicopter scene was very well written and had me on the edge of my seat. Then he got oiled up and set himself on fire, outstanding! One would believe Dan Brown has issues with the Catholic church, as do many.
Steven King’s novel The Outsider was next on my reading list. The twists and turns in this plot, a true “who done it” where until the final page, you still never discover the truth, like The DaVinci Code. I’m impressed with the depth of these two writers’ imaginations and have taken many notes. Although, King is the freak. I’ve also indulged in Just After Sunset. Thirteen different stories by a man who obviously loves crafting this genré, I imagine Steven King at the keyboard with teeth showing through a big grin.
Someone in my “Men Over 50 With Multiple Sclerosis” group turned me on to the novel, The Ambulance Drivers by James McGrath Morris. The Ernest Hemmingway and John Dos Passos story is sort of a duel biography covering their times, in and out of war. In my years living in South Florida, I visited the Hemmingway estate a variety of times. I walked the grounds and stood in the room and saw the desk where Mr. Hemingway penned much of his work. His view, looking out jalousie windows into the palm fronds waving in the sea breeze, overlooking southern Key West.
This book reveals the early days of Hemmingway and Dos Pasos as ambulance drivers in the first World War. We read about the front-line trenches in Italy, Bullfights in Pamplona, life in early Key West. Hemingway and Dos Pasos critique each other’s writings which influences their prose. The biography of this friendship includes beautiful women, hard-drinking, and how they wove their lives during the Great War. My next Hemingway will be, In Our Time. It’ll have to wait until I’ve completed, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I just got started, and I can already see why it spent 130 weeks as a New York Times Bestseller.
Find a book and read (or listen to) something!
Highlights of my 33-year radio career, the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the personal consequences are in the memoir, Come Get Me Mother, I’m Through! Stories about the radio stations and markets I worked and tales of some I met; K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Bob Hope, Missy Elliott, JayZ, Dan and Donna Aykroyd, Donnie Osmond, Johnny Unitas and his grandson, Wyclef Jean, and others. I wrote about how it costs to be disabled in America and how much I loved Dipson, our dog.
At publication, I committed to giving all proceeds of this book to the American Cancer Society in honor of two extraordinary friends. Stuart “The Boy Wonder” Elliot was in the control room at radio station 96X on my first visit to Miami. That was 1976. Stuart was a wonderful and caring, trustworthy friend who never had a problem helping me polish off a bag of Oreo’s and milk. He passed away in July of 2019.
Deena DeFelice Brosh was instrumental in my physical care during the beginning years of my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Some people are gifted with a healing touch. Her knowledge, skill, and patience helped me navigate a scary time in my life. And, never have a know a woman with as much football knowledge. I wish she were here to see women on the sidelines in Zebra shirts. She would have loved it. Deena Brosh passed away in March of 2018.
My memoir is available on Amazon and Audible.
Why MindStir Media?
After Multiple Sclerosis forced me out of a 33-year radio career, I was motivated to write a memoir and tell the story of my career and the diagnosis that changed everything in my life. As a former radio DJ, I needed to learn to write prose because there’s a difference between speaking about the new song by an artist and writing words on a page to tell a story. I hired a writing coach who spent months working with me, and eventually, Come Get Me Mother, I’m Through was released and ranked number 11 on Amazon’s “Best General Broadcasting” list.
I continued writing and came up with a short fiction story. The Death of Fairness is the tale of what happened to a small American town and its only radio station after President Reagan vetoed the Fairness in Broadcasting act of 1987. That action rescinded the Fairness Doctrine; the FCC ruled requiring equal time for contrasting points of view.
With both books, I self-published. My writing coach oversaw my work, found a local editor, did the formatting, and walked me through the business side of self-publishing. I used the internet source Fiver and contracted someone to design my memoir cover. My daughter designed the cover of the second.
I didn’t attempt to be published by one of the big publishing houses because of something I learned from an established writer, “Everyone thinks they’ve written the great American novel.” That quote came from my former radio co-worker, friend, and author, Jo Maeder. She’s written for Vanity Fair and the New York Times, and her memoir, When I Married My Mother (published by Da Capo Press/Perseus and Vivant Press), is a favorite read for thousands.
Jo made the “..great American novel” statement while explaining how difficult it is for any writer to get a deal with a major publishing company.
As a rookie author, writing a personal memoir about different experiences of my life, in the seven cities I had a radio show in, I knew a national publisher would not be involved.
My second book, The Death of Fairness, is my first effort at writing historical fiction. The story is crafted from years of conversations with my father as I returned to my hometown on vacation visits. The effect of a Presidential veto in 1987 trickled down to my father, the radio station where he was once employed, and the town he called home. Many believe the then President’s action is responsible for the division in America today.
Everyone with a Hollywood production company is looking for content. Realizing the difficulty of signing a deal with a major publishing house, I instead sent The Death… to a company that reads and critiques books. If worthy, they forward the story to Hollywood producers.
In their critique of: “The Death..” “if the author develops the narrative, increasing stakes, conflicts, making the characters more consistent, and presenting the effect of the mass media on the population, day by day, this story has a chance of winning awards.”
They determined it was a good story, simply not complete.
I decided to take the deeper dive they requested, and hence, Bonnie’s Law, The Return to Fairness, was born.
Although I knew the probable outcome, I submitted Bonnie’s Law… queries to over 50 different publishing houses, simply to see if there was a response. There were forty-three rejections.
However, seven who read the query replied with personal notes to explain their companies don’t publish stories like mine. Each of the seven responses said they were interested in what the query promised. That’s why I’ve partnered with MindStir Media and bestselling author J.J. Hebert.
Bonnie’s Law, The Return to Fairness, will receive the treatment it deserves. Their meticulous, professional editor has already made it a better read. The cover design is equal to any on a bestsellers list, and the upcoming promotion will be as professional as any major publishing company. Most importantly, Mr. Hebert is giving his stamp of approval.
My new book may not be a “Great American Novel,” but I believe it should be consumed by this country’s young people who should realize where the division in today’s America began. There’s every reason to think we could go back to the days before, “Lies were made legal, without debate.” It’s a quote from the book by Molly’s best friend, Bonnie.
That’s why I signed with MindStir Media. Stay tuned!
¡Viva Cuba Libré!