I sat back on my bench, my little writing area, a sundrenched nook overlooking my fields and the Ohio River, and closed my eyes. I was thinking what a relief it was to finally share with the world my new novel, Paper Boats, a fast-paced suspenseful journey about two boys of different faiths and how they learn acceptance for one another during a very intolerant time, World War Two. But I couldn’t rest and find solace because there was an overwhelming amount of work to be done to get the word out. Welcome to the world of self-publishing. Luckily for me, I have a huge edge over many having been in the advertising industry for many years. I know and have hired the best PR execs; the best social and digital wizards, so it is reassuring my message would get out to the masses. Yet despite such assurances, I still wasn’t at a place to be content – until I called an old colleague of mine, Mike McHargue.
Mike is now an author as well and is releasing his book, Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Through Science. I thoroughly enjoyed Mike when we worked together at an ad agency as we would hit the road and make pitches to clients. I always listened very intently as he got up on stage. Mike has magic and a presence that shines. I learned much from him and it was such a joy to feel his words during those years. And if his speeches are any indication, I suspect his book will be just as fascinating and enlightening. No matter what your faith or beliefs, I promise there will be something in there for you.
Mike and I chatted for a while talking about our books, but what he shared with me was beyond helpful. He told me I needed to celebrate. I questioned him and asked him what was I celebrating? I haven’t sold one book yet! He chuckled and said you are celebrating your accomplishment. It was that simple and a light popped into my head and as silly as that sounds, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
Tonight, as the sun dips below the rolling fields of my farm, I’m going to uncork a very cheap bottle of champagne given to me at Christmas and celebrate. Ha! I’m going to toast Otto, the character in my book, and thank him for sticking with me for seven years as we sat together and wrote his story.