Writing novels is my passion, a process that started back in the late 1950s when I got out of the army. I went through two agents in the ensuing years. While I was able to get two nonfiction books, AMERICA FOR SALE (about foreign investment in the United States) and COLLISION (about the reform movement in the Teamsters) published, my novels ran into the wall created by traditional publishers.
In 1993, I wrote OOOEELIE, a science fiction/fantasy novel. My agent loved it. Six publishers expressed an interest and the book was put out to bid. None bid. Another unpublished novel to my credit.
My agent suggested I stick to nonfiction. I decided to keep pursuing my dream, and besides, I had learned to write novels. She eventually dumped me.
I was never able to find another agent for my novels. Several urged me to do nonfiction.
To support my own habit of eating as well as my family, I worked as a journalist for 40 years mostly at Newsday and New York Newsday. In 1999, I retired freeing me to focus on my novel writing. I write three hours a day, four days a week.
I finally overcame the marketplace barrier to getting my novels published in the traditional manner and into bookstores in 1988 when I entered my novel, THE JYNX (about a clammer/wood sculptor), in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I made it through the first cut to the semi-finals. I didn’t win the grand prize but took advantage of Amazon’s offer to publish the semi-finalists’ books through CreateSpace and Kindle.
So finally, I had a novel available in paperback (on Amazon.com) and as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle.
My latest novel is BEN CONNOLLY in the PARIS COMMUNE (based on New York Herald reporter Januarius A. MacGahan’s coverage of the mini-civil war in Paris in 1872). The underlying themes are luck and the evolution of ambition.
I considerTHE DREAM DANCER my best novel. The book was inspired by the construction of the Kinzua Dam in Pennsylvania which flooded a huge portion of the Seneca’s lands. In the novel a Native American, who is a successful author living in Paris is pressured into becoming the Dream Dancer of the title. He becomes the savior of his people (the Okwe ) at a painful price that destroys his comfortable life.
Lately my most popular book isTHE ABSCONDER. The protagonist is a brilliant, athletic young man with great potential who winds up spending 28 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. Prison teaches him poetry and a ruthless will to survive. On the run as a parole violator, he sheds several identities and loving women to escape being returned to prison. In the process, he becomes a noted poet and almost achieves a life-long dream.
My other novels (all of them worth reading) areTHE JYNX, OOOEELIE, THE TRUCKERS, andTHE HERO.