Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, August 03, 2014

About the surprise . . .

Long ago and far away, I met a wonderful man, a Viet Nam veteran who wrote a book, though that doesn't define him. He had an agent in New York and loved to travel. I was entranced by his stories and his dreams. For whatever reason, his book, Reaching, made the rounds, and he collected a healthy handful of rejection letters. He stopped writing when our daughter, Rachel, was born.

Our 40th anniversary was last week. Like many partners, he can usually guess what 'the present' will be. Not this time. Rachel typed his old manuscript; I copy-edited and formatted it to Amazon's CreateSpace style, and ordered a proof copy.

Imagine the moment. We are at a rare lunch out at Anthony's, overlooking the Spokane River. He says, "Ah, a book." Then he says, "Ah, my book." He was surprised and pleased (I'm sitting there, thinking thank all the gods of writers, for even after all these years, I wasn't sure he would be pleased.) 

Allen, 1967
What's next? He doesn't want us to pursue the traditional path of agent/publishing house. In fact, he doesn't really want anything to do with the book. If we want to self-publish, he's OK. This quiet, modest, unassuming, and talented man wrote a book based on his experiences in Viet Nam. It's still, even 47 years later, a powerful story. We believe this story should be out in the world.

So sometime over the next few weeks, expect an announcement here. I'll be working on a new cover, making the editing suggestions he's mentioned, reformatting, and developing some sort of marketing plan. I'm not really sure how to move the book out to readers, but that's the next step for Reaching.

Meanwhile, my own writing continues. All is well.