I really do live in Carpinteria, California with my wife, son, and a houseful of pets. Except that the son is away at college and all the pets have either died or run away. So it’s just me and my wife. Which is fine because there’s nobody with whom I’d rather walk on the beach and ride my bike. Not to mention going out to dinner and watching movies with.
I learned that a story doesn’t become a real book or a novel until it’s been published. Until then, it’s technically a manuscript. It’s still just a Word doc kicking around on a hard drive that nobody’s read, save your spouse, successful older brother, or trusted best friend.
It wasn’t until I got dragged to a club for lunch one day that I thought there might just be a chance of turning my manuscript into a full-fledged novel.
I started writing several years ago after a decade of observing the antics of my son and his friends banging around the house, playing video games, and talking trash at the dinner table. I thought it’d be cool if I could create a story about them and their lives. So I flipped open the laptop and began writing. Wisely, I didn’t quit my day job.
I had no intention of writing anything deep or particularly meaningful. My objective was strictly to have fun—to create something light, upbeat, and entertaining. That said, had anything ever happened to my son and his friends like what happened to the characters in Death at Carp High…I would have been concerned.
The first book—oops, I mean manuscript—was quick and fun to write. So fun in fact that I decided to write the sequel. Followed by a third and a fourth. By then, I’d grown so attached to the characters that I wrote the fifth and sixth. Suddenly, I’d accumulated a whole frikken series!—of digitally encapsulated Word docs scattered in bits and pieces on a hard drive buried deep inside my laptop. Which brings me back to that fateful lunch at the club.
One of the speakers was Book Shepherd, Ellen Reid. Her business is bringing stories to fruition—turning manuscripts into books—by steering writers like me through the daunting maze of editors, cover designers, layout specialists, and printers. I was intrigued by what I heard.
Somewhat reluctantly, I introduced myself to Ellen after the lunch and told her a little bit about myself and what I’d written. She asked me to send her my first story. I went home and emailed it to her. A partnership was born.
Death at Carp High is my first novel. I hope you like it. Keep your eye out for sequels.