First -- I reread and re-edited my manuscript again, correcting the errors and polishing it as highly as I can polish -- even reading it backwards to be sure to catch any typos. I was tempted to send it to a professional editor, but decided not to after reading samples of other professionally edited books that did not read any better than mine.
Second -- I stopped querying! I have had enough of the bland, polite, form rejections, ironically often not written particularly well, from literary agents, telling me my story was "just not right" for their lists, but urging me to please don't stop querying because someone out there in agent land might just want to champion this book that they rejected.
Well, guess what? I am going to let the reading public judge whether or not my book is worthy -- not a handful of gatekeepers. I sent the manuscript to FosteringSuccess.com for formatting, and a young lady named Clare Ayala did a marvelous job of preparing my novel for e-publication through Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Incidentally, Clare has a great sense of humor and was very patient with me, a rank newcomer to the independent publishing community, as she addressed my questions and concerns. Formatting is a tedious and time-consuming process, at least it appeared to be from what I read, and I was more than happy to pay her to do it rather than doing it myself.
LAST STRAW will go on sale soon at Amazon and other e-book retailers. Here is the blurb -- I hope you enjoy the book.
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If you cheat a man out of his future, be prepared to pay the price -- vengeance is not always the province of the Lord.
A tough, resourceful middle-aged man makes a dangerous adversary. Hammered by the Great Recession, betrayed by his new wife, and robbed of his retirement savings by men he trusted, he uses his experience and talent to exact his vengeance on them in unique and creative ways. In the human chess game they are playing, his victims and the police have no chance -- they have rules to follow -- he does not.
Mike Kingman and Tess Brogan, the detectives assigned to capture him, have their own issues. Not only do they wrestle with the problems of a developing love affair while trying to remain focused on the job, but Tess also finds she has a strange attraction to the kller.
From the Berkeley hills, to the Ghost Fleet of ships in Suisun Bay, to the towering Campanile in the center of the University of California campus, Pickering is always one step ahead, in a race that challenges his considerable intellect and skill, and tests the relationship of the two young officers.