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HOLY SMOKE! (NO. THE CHURCH DIDN'T BURN DOWN)

Friends and even strangers ask me from time to time, what it’s like to not only write a book, but publish it. The answer? You can’t believe it. Yet you’re holding it in your hands. Then reality hits. What the hell will I do for an encore? Then comes the dreaded Maybe there isn’t one.


I published HARM’S WAY - released recently by U.S. Beacon Publishing Group. My eighth novel. I still wonder to myself: ‘how did that happen’? When a weekly magazine staff writer in the next cubicle stood on his desk waving a book around. His first.


You know what comes next. Me saying to myself, ‘if Bill Trent can do it, why not me? I’m working on my ninth novel, another thriller. It will take 4/5 completed drafts before I’ll feel it’s good to go. Almost…


So you sell a book. Sign a contract, stipulating the publisher will release it within 12 months. You don’t, I promise you, sit back and wait. Get out there as expected; plug yourself into social media. Make yourself known through website [clarkewallace.com] and its weekly blog. Pack yourself off to Linked-in. Twitter. Make a noise. (LOUD). Hope to God someone will review it. Interviews…?


And for God’s sake, don’t forget who got you there. I’m looking at HARM’S WAY propped up on my laptop. (I use an exterior keyboard). I was asked to suggest a cover. Giving a hint of what the story is about. And while you’re at it, send us suggestions for a small blurb on the cover.


I didn’t have a clue. About either. Not wanting to let anyone down, I sent off nine smallish suggestions for the blurb. I couldn’t dream up a cover. The book arrived months later, by post. The cover knocked me out. Wow! The ‘blurb’, I told them, was better than I could’ve done. They emailed back: ‘It was one of yours’.


Author’s comment: There are so many who brought my manuscript to life. The publisher’s readers who decide the fate of a book. The editors who nit pick errors, grammar, spelling. Correct dialogue. (“It isn’t in that female’s character, Clarke, to say what you’ve given her to say.”) Those who handle the book’s welfare. Its distribution. The list goes on. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.


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