Being The News Rather Than Writing It

It was an interesting experience walking into my local newspaper as the subject of the story rather than writing one myself.

But, it was a good article about the publication of my book. Go ahead and read it here – the reporter did a great job to be honest.

Anyway, that’s all for tonight – I’ll probably check in before the weekend and the weekly journal. Take care and keep warm if you’re in the Midwest like me – apparently it’s going to get really cold soon.

The Holy Fool And Other Publishing/Project News: Update 1.27.2019

All right, I just wanted to let you know a couple of things about what’s going on, project-wise.

  • The My Work section of the site has been fully updated with new links, etc. Check it all out.
  • I’m anticipating my first small shipment of books any day now, although the weirdness with the shutdown might have led to a delay or two. As soon as I get them in my hands, I’ll spread the word and I’ll probably sponsor a giveaway or two.
  • A lot of this I am anticipating is going to heat up (pun not intended) during late spring/summer. I’m hoping to make some book signings/appearances in my local area during that time to get the word out about what I’ve written.
  • I’m also probably going to be busy looking for publishers and/or agents to take on the other projects I have been working on behind the scenes. I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy working with Biblio Publishing, but they are not accepting new fiction projects at this time. So I will be checking in with other possibilities for publication. However, I am optimistic. I’ve been published before, so I think I can be published again.
  • With that in mind, I have been separating my works in progress into two different categories. The first category is Ready To Go – projects that I would be able to present to publishers and agents within four months or less with the intention of publishing next year. For right now, I’m calling them Projects A, B, and C.
    • Project A is the novel about a soccer player that I’ve talked about on and off. I’ve already had it beta-read and have made revisions to it with those comments in mind. I’m giving it another little shave to get the manuscript under 85,000 words, just to keep the story moving.
    • Project B is a long-dormant crime drama centered around a young man suffering from mental illness who kills two boys who had been tormenting him at his high school. The story picks up when he is released after five years in jail and how he struggles to be part of society again. I think the book has a few flaws, but it’s a quick read – currently under 50,000 words – and I’ve been feeling good about what I’ve been revising.
    • Project C would be a collection of some of the poems I have written in recent years. A couple of the ones I want to include have appeared in this blog, while others I have yet to write or am in the process of writing. I think that would be relatively easy to put together.
  • The second category is going to be Future Projects – stuff that is somewhere from planning stages to incomplete rough drafts. This includes 2-3 potential sequels to Project A, a series about a fictional indie rock band from the 1980’s-90’s, and probably two science fiction projects. In short, I am not lacking stuff to write about for some time to come.

So, that’s where I’m at with all of my projects at the moment. I’m feeling excited going forward with them, and I hope they can find an even bigger audience.

A Message To Anyone Who Reads My Book…

…Glad you picked it up.

If you bought it, that’s great. Glad to get a few extra bucks into my pocket while telling you a story that, I think, is pretty cool. Trust me, I wouldn’t have spent years writing it if I hadn’t.

There’s also the chance, however, that you might have read it in the library. I’m in the process of getting some a copy dropped off at my library and maybe a couple of others around the area. Some of them also do ebook loaning, so I’m interested to see if they could do that, as well.

The point being, I appreciate anyone who reads my stuff, no matter whether you pay for it or borrow it from the library. If you are wondering how you can help me out, even if you can’t pay for my books, I have a way for you to do it.

Tell people what you thought about it.

Yeah, you can do that on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, but there’s a couple of other places it can be even more useful.

On Amazon, they give you space on the product page to leave a review of the book or product. Let me put out a personal plea for you to write a review there. Let people know what you thought of it honestly. Tell them what you dug about it and if anything could be improved, and leave it up there. In case you got it from the library and don’t know where to leave a review, here is the link for my author’s page on Amazon. Just go to one of the book links there and do a review. Yeah, you’ll have to sign up for an account, but you probably already have one and it’s free anyway, right?

Also, feel free to leave it on other sites. For example, this is the site for my ebook on Barnes and Noble. If you sign up for Goodreads, you can do that same thing – here is my author’s page there. You can even leave a review for my book on my publisher’s site and you don’t have to sign in for anything.

And don’t feel like you have to write three or four different reviews, either. Cutting and pasting is perfectly acceptable. 🙂

The point is, I would truly appreciate it if people would start reviewing my book, even if they don’t have 100 percent positive things to say about it. The more people start talking about my book, the more people start noticing my book, and the more likely it is that people start buying it.

Anything you can do, I thank you for it.

More Book Updates, Promotion News, Etc.

Yesterday was a wild day – around 80 visitors to the site just with the little promotional work that I’ve done so far. That plus the 100-plus followers I’ve gotten on WordPress (and others on my other social media pages) has me thinking something could slowly be starting.

So, let me update everyone on a couple of items regarding The Holy Fool and associated items.

  • I now have ebook versions of The Holy Fool up and running on some other sites thanks to my publisher, Biblio. They are on Barnes and Noble and Kobo, for starters. I have also updated the “My Books” section of the blog with those links.
  • You can also find my book on the Apple app, but for some reason I can’t seem to find a URL link for that. Just search for my name on the Apple book app and you’ll find it.
  • I’m hoping to have a better idea of when I will be getting some author’s copies in my hands by sometime this week. I feel good about that, because I have a couple of people close to me wanting some autographed copies. In addition, I want to get some to my local library and have some available for signings, book giveaways, etc. When I know, you’ll know.
  • Still educating myself on the Amazon and Goodreads author programs (links to my pages on both sites are on the sidebar of this blog). I have the feeling that I will be able to make a lot of use out of both sites as promotional vehicles and to keep in touch with future fans.

That’s most of the new news bookwise – as time goes on, I’ll continue to keep everyone in the loop.

Expanding My Online Footprint

There’s a lot going on at the moment, but I wanted to touch on a couple of new things I’m also excited about. Recently, I’ve had the chance to sign up for a few web sites expand my online footprint.

With the publication of the new book and it being carried on Amazon, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to get an Amazon author page. You can get to mine here. You’ll see the new book there, as well as an anthology I contributed to a few years back. (Feel free to buy a copy of that, too.)

I’ve also got a Goodreads page as well. My profile is here. I’ll use it to list some books I’ve read, follow authors, and connect with fellow writers and readers.

The idea is to reach out in different ways to potential readers and fellow writers in a way I haven’t yet had the chance to do. I’m still learning about some of the potential of both sites, and I’m looking forward to the process. Also, both of those author pages will have my blog feed, so you can check out my posts at those places, too. You can now find a permanent link to both my Amazon and Goodreads pages on the sidebar of my blog.

In addition, I’m also still on Facebook as Liegois Media. Originally set up as a page for my journalism career, with my reentry into teaching, I decided to rebrand it as my first writing interest page. I post interesting articles, photos, quotes and memes on writing daily basis, as well as the posts from this blog. In addition, I also crosspost everything that goes on the Facebook page on Twitter via my handle @LiegoisMedia.Links and feeds to both of those pages, as they have been before, can be found in the blog’s sidebar.

If you just want to email me, you can do that at liegois.writing@gmail.com.

Hope I hear from you no matter how you want to reach out to me.

The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt [ANNOUNCEMENT]

Everyone, I’m proud to announce the release of my debut novel, The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt. (Cue stunned celebration inside my head.)

After many years of wanting to be a writer, several years after I first got the idea of writing a journalism thriller (what else would a journalist/ex-journalist want to write about? 🙂 ), and a year after I started seriously trying to see if anyone would be interested in publishing it, I am now a published author. I started this blog in part because I wanted to make that come true. And now, it has.

So, let me introduce you to the book.

the holy fool cover shot

[From the back jacket:]

It is September 2008, in the city of Chicago. On the eve of the presidential election and the Great Recession, Chicago Journal columnist Samuel “Sonny” Turner has been writing an investigative series on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His bosses at the paper are reluctant to run the stories, which are based on top secret government files leaked from a Pentagon source. Turner increasingly wonders whether he will have to travel a different path to tell the truth.

Despite these conflicts, he agrees to do a favor for his mentor, Journal City Editor Gus Pulaski – investigate his own newspaper to see if its owner is looking to sell or close the paper due to financial difficulties. As Turner and Pulaski begin to conspire to somehow save the newspaper from a final edition, Turner is considering his own plans to get the truth out. Turner, frustrated by the constraints of traditional media, considers starting a new form of journalism from the ashes of the old.

In Russian literature, the holy fool was a man who lived outside the boundaries of normal society, who could speak truths others could not. Turner sees himself as the journalistic version of this fool.


I first got the hint of an idea a little over eight years ago. Inspired by an incident I had read about in college regarding the 1993 ownership fight over the New York Post that eventually wound up with the staff in open revolt, I began to wonder how a similar incident might unfold at a fictional newspaper in Chicago (a town that has seen its own share of newspapers with shaky financial situations). How might it happen as the Great Recession of 2008 unfolded, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at their peaks? And could this prompt one newspaper journalist to create a new way of practicing his profession, a new outlook that’s been needed more as the years have passed?

I basically wound up with the first draft of the book a year or two later, but it was way too big. Like, 166,525 words big. If you’re George R.R. Martin or Stephen King, one of the big sellers, publishers will print books as big as you want them. But for a first-time author, they find reasons not to publish your stuff, especially once you get over the 100,000-word mark.

So, I sat on it for a bit. I showed some excerpts to some writing friends/acquaintances of mine. I went to a few events at the Midwest Writing Center over the course of a few years to get some expert/talented amateur opinions.

And then, I settled in for the revision of all revisions. Within two years, I had trimmed 166,525 to 128,191. In another year, I cut it again, down to 93,562, and managed to do it telling a leaner, meaner, faster story. It was an experience that I hope never to have to go through again, but I absolutely had to go through it to get a fundamental education about writing and the revision behind it. Revising is king; never let anyone tell you differently. The Holy Fool was the vehicle by which I went from just aspiring to write to being an actual fiction writer after all of those dreams years ago.

It was only after all of that was done that I decided to see if anyone was interested in publishing it. Here I have to admit that what happened was the result of some networking. During my time working at a school district in Eastern Iowa, I happened to meet a fellow writer, a published writer, a co-worker and school librarian by the name of Bert Miller. Unfortunately we are no longer colleagues, but we’ve kept in touch online.

During the last months of my stay in his district, I beta read one of his books, Moons of Gemini, that was published through Biblio Publishing of Columbus, Ohio. He suggested I might try to get in contact with them and see if they would be interested in my work. After I sent them a query in March 2018, they wrote me back and said they were interested. And 10 months later, I’m now a published author.


I went ahead and thanked a whole bunch of people in the acknowledgement page of the book, but I also want to do it here.

Thanks to the Midwest Writing Center for their support, programming, and work-shopping opportunities. On a similar note, thanks to the Muscatine, Iowa writers’ group Writers On The Avenue for their support and critiques. Special thanks go to members Misty Urban and Pat Bieber for their insight and advice on this project and ones currently in progress.

So many thanks go to Bert for his encouragement, friendship, and support for this project. Thanks also to Biblio Publishing for making my dream of being a published author come true.

I’ve also got to thank my family. My parents, Bill and Suzanne Liegois, gave me my love for the written word and encouraged me to follow a career path that would keep me writing throughout my life. My kids, Jacob and Madeline, have been so encouraging to me on my new adventure in life as they are about to start on their own paths in life.

Finally, there’s my wife, Laura. We’ve been together for more than 20 years. She’s loved me both writing and not writing, but she always supported my type-type-typing away whenever I got an interesting idea. She is absolutely the best and the center of my world.


So, now that I’ve got the synopsis, the story, and the thanks out of the way, where can you buy my book?

Right now, the paperback version is available for purchase both on Amazon and at Biblio Publishing. Go to the following links:

There are plans right now to have it available in ebook format. I will post those links when they are ready to go. Wait, lies, as my daughter said. It is now on Amazon Kindle in ebook form, and you can get it at this link. It will be on other sites soon.

In addition, I have now added a “My Work” page to the blog, with links to the book (and books yet to come).

For those who want to just walk up to me (literally and metaphorically) and ask me if I can buy/borrow/grab a copy of this book from me… I’m in the process of getting some of them sent to me. I will let you know here when I have them. (This is more aimed at close friends/family/people who might actually see me on the street IRL rather than online).

For those of you who choose to join me on this adventure and by a copy of The Holy Fool, I say welcome. Hope you like the book.

Just Hit 100 Follows On WordPress

I was impressed when I saw that. Thanks to everyone who’s ever taken the time to follow me here or on my other social media sites.

I try and check out people who follow me whenever I can – I wish I had time to do it more.

For every visitor and follower here who’s ever checked my blog out – thank you.


 

Remember that I’m releasing #TheHolyFoolLaunch post at noon on Saturday, January 19. Come on over to check it out and maybe buy a copy.

A Quick Book Launch Note…

…as you heard, I have a book coming out.

I’ll be doing the first “launch” post for the book The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt at around noon Central Standard Time Saturday, January 19. Be there or be square, as they said in my parents’ youth.

There will probably be at least one, maybe two, slightly related posts from the mother blog going out a little later that day, too. In addition, there will be a new page on the blog dedicated to the book (and space for new future projects.

Hope I see you there.

#TheHolyFoolLaunch

 

Writing Journal 1.13.2019: The usual numbers and an announcement…

So, wow. Things are starting to happen/already happening.

First thing’s first – for the first time in a long time, I have made my daily quota every day this week. The numbers, as always:

+494 words written.

Days writing: 1 of 7.

Days revising: 7 of 7 for 240 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 7 of 7 days.

The numbers are not the biggest I’ve ever had, but I do like the consistency.

That’s cool and all, but I’ve got something else to let you know about. Something that I have been hoping for, openly wishing and fantasizing for, pretty much ever since I started this blog 18 months ago. And now, the moment is just about here.

img_6008

I signed that book contract I was hinting about for a while.

 

On Saturday, January 14, I will be making an official launch post for my book, The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt. It will have:

  • A full synopsis for the book.
  • Info on the publisher I’m working with.
  • Most importantly, links to where you will be able to get the book, which is coming out in paperback. It will be available in paperback immediately and in e-book version sometime afterward.

Of course, as time goes on, I will be promoting the heck out of the book as time goes on. I will be setting up a permanent page on the blog to house links and info for that book and books to come. That will get rolled out on Saturday, as well. Word will also be out on my Facebook and Twitter writing bases, and I will also announce a couple of new additions to my online world as well.

SO, there is that news. Stay tuned for Saturday.

Wow, anything for an encore? Here’s a couple of items.

  • When not promoting the new project, I’ll still be revising some stuff. The current work in progress is still on the revising block. I have something of an ego wish to see if I can shave a few more excess words on that book and get it under 85,000 words.
  • For varied reasons, I wanted to take a look at the second manuscript I ever wrote – you remember I talked about that a while back, right? Probably not. Anyway, a quick review of it made a couple of things apparent to me.
    • A lot of the book is garbage.
    • But not all of it.
    • It’s pretty short – maybe half the size of my current WIP. If I can do some major league revising surgery on it, I think I would have a nice quick book that I might be able to put out with not as much difficulty as a full start-up project.
  • As for other projects, maybe I need to do a roundup of that sometime later. There are a few different “lanes” that I am pursuing with various levels of interest and time invested.

OK, that’s all I have for now. See you here Saturday.

Writing Journal 1.6.2018: Good start to 2019

Made some great use of my last bit of winter break, but I think that I’m back in the writing groove. The numbers:

+1,101 words written.

Days writing: 2 of 7.

Days revising: 6 of 7 for 615 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Six out of seven days of quota-level activity is always good, considering how I lazed around this December.

As for what’s going on:

  • I am within a few days of signing a formal contract with the publishers I have been working with. I will give an announcement on that when it happens, but the rollout for the new book will likely come in stages. In addition to the publishers themselves, it will also be available on Amazon.
    My loving wife says that she would be willing to help me with a promotional campaign, and she actually has a bit of experience with that. It will be interesting having her help in this part of my author’s journey.
    I’ll likely have to add a wing onto the old blog and my Facebook page for the new items. Don’t worry; I’ll announce that when it happens.
  • I think this year will be more than a little bit of a promotional push. There’s a good writing community in Iowa and the Quad Cities, and I want to try to make the rounds and see what I can do to get my book out there.
  • Of course, what comes next will also be on my mind. I was very happy with the results of my latest revision to my current work in progress. I’ve managed to cut the manuscript down from 92,000-plus words to just under 87,000. Currently, I think my writing priorities will be:
    • Another revision to WIP #1. Main goal: to cut the size down to under 85,000 at least.
    • Decide which other WIP (call them A, B, and C) I want to concentrate on when not revising WIP #1. A is essentially a sequel (one of at least two in mind) for WIP #1, B is a period drama about a 1980’s-1990’s indie rock band, and C is an ultra secret project I’m not sure if I want to release, at least not right away. Right now, I am leaning toward B.
  • I have a feeling that my personal life will be much different by the time the next 18 months is up. My son will be graduating from high school this spring and my daughter will be graduating the spring after that. That will be it for the kids, and then it will be me and my wife, just like it was 20 years ago in some small apartment in eastern Iowa. I’ll be excited for both our adventures and the new adventures of our kids.

OK, enough for now. For all you writers out there, keep writing and keep supporting each other. We definitely need it.