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I have some great pictures. Not sure if they’re what you’re looking for but if you want to send me an email I’ll upload them to google photos and send you a link where you can download them. One of my all-time favorites is still the one with Puff and the black bee.

It’s great that you’re publishing books. I have an extraordinary personal story that started when I was a Satellite Systems, Broadcast, Production and Wireless Communications Systems Engineer turned tech entrepreneur having organized and run several companies. After consulting for the Olympics in 2002 and while busy and successful in my profession, I literally woke one morning to discover that 25 years of career passion and drive was suddenly and mysteriously gone. It was as if someone had reached into my soul and turned off a switch. Not only that but it had been replaced with a disdain for the same work I was happy in doing only the day before. The experience was one of the most bizarre, puzzling and frightening things that’s ever happened to me. Then the dream came.

Several months later after having basically abandoned my work and with no idea what to do next, I experienced two consecutive dreams wherein I sat alone in an old theater and watched a movie I’d never seen before – parts 1 and 2 over two nights. While documenting the story in the dream a sudden overwhelming impression came that I was meant to write that story out in detail and share it with the world. At that instant I laughed out loud, got up and walked away for obvious reasons. It was a completely ridiculous and futile idea. Being a businessman I knew that the odds of making something like that profitable to help support my family would be astronomically slim. High-risk projects with little to no chance of logical success are definitely not things I consider.

But over the following weeks this impression was relentless and kept hounding me to the point I finally gave in. Sat my family down and told my wife and four children ranging from 5 to 14 years of age that I was going to write a novel and that we’d have to live off my investments for an indefinite amount of time because I’d need to work on the novel full-time in order to make it the best it could be. My sweet and supportive wife even volunteered to go back to work to help support us. She’s been supporting that effort now for the past 18 years. And to all this I swore them to secrecy because I didn’t want my professional associates to think I’d lost my mind, which wasn’t completely discounted.

After four years the manuscript was finished and edited and the economy started tanking. My initial queries were all rejected as is usual so I published a print-on-demand version that a national distributor found. He thought it was good enough for mainstream distribution if I could get it professionally published. Went back out but still couldn’t get any interest from agents or publishers. Faced with “go big or go home,” my wife and I squeaked out a second mortgage on the modest home we had moved to to save money and I published the book myself. Now when I say published I mean I formed my own publishing entity and did all the work myself including book-block formatting and editing, graphics, layout and even the negatives for embossing and UV coating. Worked with a local publishing company that printed 3,500 books for me.

Did around 50 book signings at Barnes and Noble and Costco locations in 2008. A book producer for a 14-consecutive NYT Best-selling author found the book on display in the lobby of the publishing company and was impressed enough to recommend it to her client’s NY agent. The agent said she liked the book but wasn’t taking on new authors because of the crappy economy. This book producer also invited me to speak at a seminar with her client, which I did. the novel got excellent reviews from readers and even B&N staff who declared me “up and coming.” It was even displayed at the NY Book Fair that year and received two national awards for Visionary Fiction. One was the same award also presented to the Dalai Lama believe it or not.

A skeptical editor for a small publishing company who purchased the novel at one of my signings tracked me down later at another signing. After enthusiastically sharing all the stuff she liked about the story and plot and themes concluded by loudly declaring me a “friggen genius.” Now that’s far from true but was a nice compliment nonetheless. Unfortunately the novel was never taken seriously by publishers or agents so by 2009 I threw in the towel. Marketing one’s own work in competition with mainstream publishing companies is David vs. Goliath and I had run out of rocks.

It did catch the interest of some Hollywood producers who contacted me. I always believed the story would make a great film plus I’ve always had a very active interest in the technical aspects of film-making. That led to years of meeting with reps from production companies and studios. Met some great people but as many know it’s just as fickle as the literary industry. Had some good leads and prospects but never felt comfortable with what was offered.

Then an Oscar-winning filmmaker who requested the novel told me it was the ‘best he has seen’ for adaption to film. Knowing my business background and elevated goals for the project he suggested I write the screenplay and produce the film myself. A great compliment but not something I wanted to do. Building companies is incredibly involved and I was still hoping someone in the film industry would catch a clue, see the real potential of the project and take it on. Didn’t happen so I wrote the screenplay and started looking for production partners.

Long story short here is I met more great people but just couldn’t pull it all together. One feature filmmaker said that my screenplay was the ‘best he had read in years’ and after a 4-hour lunch meeting offered to partner on the project. But he didn’t work for certain reasons. Another filmmaker with great credentials and experience offered as well. I really liked him but that relationship faded when I couldn’t raise development capital. Started my first tech company 20 years ago with around $1M in investment capital but no one would give me a dime for a film project. One investor said they’d give me $25M if I was doing another tech company but nothing for film. The underlying reason was that most films are crap and lose money. They aren’t wrong. Only a handful of filmmakers stick to proven story and production standards and stay profitable. So even as a proven professional with a track record for saying what I mean and doing exactly what I say, it wasn’t enough.

So for the past few years I’ve been on autopilot just surviving and planning my next move. I still have relationships with some film industry people and I do believe that at least one of my other scripts will make it at some point. But today I’m still paying off debt, working on home projects, designing, building and flying cinematic UAV’s for fun and taking care of what I can. My daughter, the youngest of my four children, is getting married this Saturday. Time marches on.

I still get asked if I’m writing more books. The short answer is without an agent and publisher there’s no point. I believe my chances at success are better with film. Time will tell. Last year I sent a query to the same agency that like my novel the first time. They declined again saying it was a good book but that getting represented these days is next to impossible. So I applaud anyone who manages to get a book out there in any form because I know first hand what it really takes. Good luck with yours.

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