Xlibris Publishing returns with Gerald Meyers, author of The Flight of the Peacock.
Regarding my literary interests, I probably gravitate more toward favorite authors than sources of inspirational guidance. My leisure reading is almost exclusively in the realm of literary fiction with some of my favorite writers being Philip Roth, Pat Conroy, Joyce Carole Oats, Michael Chabon, Ethan Canin and Margaret Atwood, just to name a few. Since my writing tends to be more popular fiction, dabbling in genres like, coming of age, historical fiction, medical thrillers and most recently, first person biographical narrative, my wife likes to kid me that I’m such a snob that I wouldn’t ‘read what I write.’ That said, I really appreciate a well-written, complex plot that stretches my imagination and teaches me about people, places and circumstances that I probably would have never experienced first hand. That, for me, is more satisfying than a well conceived, well written non-fiction.
My message to my readers is what I’ve learned over time. Every life is an intricate ongoing plot filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of unique and interesting subplots that can be catalogued and conveyed to others in the way of well-crafted stories. It’s your job to keep those stories alive and pass them down from one generation to the next.
Since The Flight of the Peacock is a stand-alone fictionalized memoir, there are no plans for a sequel. That said, writing it has inspired me to go back into my personal history and endeavor to bring to the page other experiences and ‘happenings’ from my past, probably in the form of a series a short stories, a medium I’ve yet to explore.
Working with Xlibris has been both a joy and a privilege. After slogging through the conventional publishing process — it actually took me 13 years to get my first manuscript into print — I finally convinced a small publishing house in Pittsburgh called SterlingHouse Publishers, named after its founder and owner Cindy Sterling, to take me on. This was only after Cindy worked with me for several years, insisting she act as my consultant as we shepherded a work from ‘conception to publication’. This resulted in my first published novel, Muted Colors, a story that was later re-novelized, 10 years later, at the insistence of the screenwriter who adapted and modernized the story into a screenplay entitled The Heart of Rose. This actually became the first project I published through Xlibris.
The beauty of working with a self-publishing company is the degree of operational control the author has over the entire process. Once I felt comfortable and competent in my ability to craft, edit and then proof read a manuscript, I became confident that I could produce a quality work of fiction without having to go through the conventional channels. Working with Xlibris has been a pleasure. The staff is supportive. The response rate is incredibly rapid and the quality of the product has been lauded by friends and family alike. I’ve now completed four projects with the company and I’ve no doubt that we’ll we working together in the near future.
As for my advice to aspiring authors: keep plugging away. The old adage that completing a successful, worthwhile endeavor is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, is especially true when it comes to creative writing. Once you’ve ‘regurgitated’ everything you wanted to say into that first draft, the real crafting of a quality work comes through the seemingly endless process of rewriting and editing. That part of the effort will be well served if it is openly embraced. I like to say that you never finish a work, you abandon it. For me, it can always be more precisely worded, more finely tuned and more concisely plotted. But eventually, like a parent sending a child out in to the world, you need to let it go, hoping it will stand on its own.
Xlibris Publishing trusts this helps
Please make sure to check out the Xlibris Publishing site for more advice and blogs, and be sure to follow us on Xlibris Publishing Facebook and Xlibris Publishing Twitter. Get your free publishing guide here.