Something is Coming Soon – The Yank Striker

I really wasn’t expecting to make this announcement this soon.

I had thought that I would have been putting this project forward sometime later next year, definitely as a self-publishing project. Even though I have been working toward self-publishing and still might put some projects out there under self-publishing, my next venture is going to be with someone familiar.

I have been talking with Biblio Publishing, the publishing company that worked with me to put out my book The Holy Fool. I mentioned that I had been working on a book project I had just recently completed, and they said that they were interested in publishing that book. Pending final agreements and so forth, it appears that my second book, The Yank Striker, will be published through Biblio this coming January.

I will give more details about publication, availability, etc., in the coming weeks and months. Again, all of this is preliminary, but from my past experiences with publishing I think that it is important to get as much word out about this upcoming project as soon and as often as I can.

The whole idea came to be a few years ago when I was getting ever deeper into my obsession with the sport of soccer. At a certain point, examining how Americans were starting to have careers in the major soccer leagues around the world, I asked myself a simple question:

What would the American Lionel Messi look like?

Liegois

After a bit of thinking, the character of Daniel John “DJ” Ryan came to mind. Over time, his story began developing like a sapling tree with branches sprouting up and down the trunk.

I’m going to include a brief synopsis of the book at the jump. I wrote it due to my love of the sport and the people who play it. I’ll be talking about this project more as its publication draws near, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.

Continue reading “Something is Coming Soon – The Yank Striker”

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.

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.