Unlike the launch of a new aircraft carrier, the launch of a first book by an unknown author does not involve bunting, a military band and the smashing of a bottle of Dom Perignon over the bow. It is a much quieter affair.
After the manuscript is written, a novel is remorselessly edited first by the writer and then by the publisher which, in this case, is Oceanview Publishing. When these combined efforts result in what all those involved feel is a finished product, the manuscript is sent off for typesetting. The publisher and the author then scour the typeset version looking for the smallest of imperfections in the translation of the typed word to the printed version, which happens at least twice.
By the time all of this was done, I had read Incentive for Death end to end no less than 17 times. I am a compulsive reader, devouring at least three books per week since the age of 12 when a helpful librarian at the old Carnegie library in my hometown in Nebraska had hooked me on the wonders of consuming books. I was as addicted as a street junkie is to heroin. And still am.
But, as I told my publisher’s staff last week in a Zoom call, I was absolutely ready to see the launch happen, much like the day when each of your children heads off to college to start the rest of their lives. Listening to the audible version (which will be released around November 1) will likely be the last time I follow the initial travails of D.C. homicide detective McDermott “Mac” Burke. I just want to put my debut novel on the shelf to gather dust while I move on to writing more tales in this series. That’s because the act of writing itself is the sweetest pleasure of this chosen second act of my life.