My first novel, Fallen Palm, is now available in both paperback and e-book format on Amazon. I never dreamed I'd actually get a book published, much less be able to sell it, but dreams do happen.
This whole notion started way back in 1988, when I was an estimator for an air conditioning company, in Florida. I wrote a computer program that did all the manual calculations to determine equipment size on new homes a whole lot faster. Since I was a salaried employee, I was left with a lot of free time, sitting in my windowless, corner office. I've been an avid scuba diver, fisherman, boater and sailor most of my life, and with a lot of free time, my mind wandered. Since there was a computer right there (remember, this was the late 80's, think Basic not Windows), I wrote several short stories about a Marine veteran, who went to the Florida Keys to dive, fish, drink and raise hell, in general.
His name was Jesse McDermitt. It's a name I just grabbed out of my head, but I'd always liked the name Jesse. Anyway, Jesse was a tall, handsome man that got into a lot of trouble, but always seemed to come out on top.
Somewhere in my garage there's a box, with a bunch of 5-1/4" floppy disks, where those stories still reside. But, Jesse's exploits were always right there in the back of my mind, hidden behind the clutter of mortgage, job, kids, house and cars.
It was suggested by several friends, that I should write a book based on my journeys and experiences. I've traveled a bit and explored just about every part of Florida. The Keys are by far, my favorite part of the state. Did you know that at one time, the Keys seceded from the Union, to become the Conch Republic and immediately applied for assistance from the federal government as a third world country?
So, at the urging of my wife, who seems to think I'm some kind of story teller, I took Jesse and made him a bit older and retired him from the Marine Corps. I served in the Corps and lived for a time in the Keys, so a lot of the stories were based on actual events and places. Anyway, Jesse's older now, maybe a little wiser, I'll leave that to the readers to decide. He's had two failed marriages and retires to the Keys to fish, dive, drink and raise hell, in general.
I was nearly finished with my first book and had a working title of "Lynx Key Reign". I wasn't real happy with it and my wife told me that at some point the right title would jump out at me. It did. In the very last sentence, of the very last paragraph. My action/adventure novel, Fallen Palm, was a reality. I sent it via email to several friends, who insisted it needed to be published.
Now, I'm just a truck driver and we're not exactly the Forbes or Gates of the world, so money was the big stumbling block. Our son in law worked for Amazon and he suggested I use a website that many publishers use, called CreateSpace. I've worked with computers quite a bit (remember the program I wrote in the '80's?), so navigating the site wasn't that hard.
On October 8th, 2013, Fallen Palm became available on Amazon, as a self published novel. A few friends bought copies and I bought more than all of them combined. I shipped copies to friends and family that first week. It's now starting to sell a little more. It seems a few of James W. Hall's, Carl Hiaasen's and Randy Wayne White's fans like it.
I was told I needed a website, so I'm working on that. I was also told I needed a blog, so here it is. What next? Do I need to run for Congress? No, I don't think I'd survive that, without a lot of bail money.