Have you ever wondered where that great novel came from?
You know the one I mean. You weren’t planning to read it, it wasn’t even on your radar, in fact, until someone from your book club said, “I’ve heard good things about this one.”
You weren’t planning to read it, until your mother said, “Check out this book. It’s a life-changer.” Mom’s a little hyperbolic when it comes to books sometimes, so you put that recommendation in the back of your mind and thought, Maybe.
Meanwhile, this novel you never saw coming keeps climbing the best-seller charts, and eventually, maybe even months later, you give in and crack the book open. What will you find as you journey through it?
By nature, you are a skeptical reader. You want to love everything you read, but you know you won’t. That’s not how books work. There are different books for different moods. Different books for different times in your life. Sometimes, when you read a book has as much say over whether you’ll connect with it as its characters or the prose do.
And, let’s be honest, big-seller or not, some books are just plain bad. You know which ones I’m talking about here.
With that tiny preamble, let me tell you a little something about me.
I’m a writer.
The words come slow and through much effort, thanks to my cerebral palsy and my not-so-great eyesight. But I am a writer.
The first thing one must also be if they’re a writer: they must also be a reader. They must understand what’s being written, who it’s being written for, and why it sells… or, sometimes, why not. We all know that great book we love that almost no one else has ever heard about.
Anyway, years ago, I did this. I looked around at the books I loved (Mitch Albom, Richard Paul Evans, Erin Morgenstern, Audrey Niffenegger, to name just a few), and what I found was this. Every one of those authors told stories that were both personal to them and universally recognizable. This gave me an idea.
Write a book for everyone, a book that will show anyone who’s interested what it’s like to live differently abled in an able society.
Write a book for everyone, a book that will show anyone who’s interested the importance of relationships. The way love can change the world one life at a time.
Write a book at once beautiful and truthful.
Write a book that will make someone in a book club say, “I’ve heard good things about this one.”
That will make the mother of someone you’ve never met exclaim, “Check out this book. It’s a life-changer.”
It took twelve years and so many late nights when I wasn’t sure I’d see the other side of a deep and dark tunnel. But I have, at last, written the book that was written in my bones–in their marrow–long before it surfaced as a task I needed to complete.
The next great novel you haven’t heard of yet is called What Death Taught Terrence.
It is no spoiler to tell you the main character dies. This happens on page one (I hope that first page hooks you!). It is no spoiler to tell you this novel owes much of its DNA to properties like Field Of Dreams and It’s A Wonderful Life. What if George Bailey lived in the present-day and what if he was handicapped? Would his life still be wonderful? Could he find the meaning in it?
Why I’m writing this blog post on this dark night: simply put, I need a platform.
It used to be, as an author, the books one composed spoke for their creator. When there were less people publishing, when publishing’s profit-margins weren’t razor-thin, the work spoke for the one who worked to produce it.
Now we can instantly connect with millions. I could instantly publish a book I know has the potential to change lives. At the same time, you might not know I’ve written a word. You might not know there is such a book out there to be read, even though you’re a reader.
I work with an agent. I spend my days reading and making good books great for other authors. Despite my palsy and my not-so-good eyesight, my skills as an editor are something in which I have much faith. As do those with whom I work. I know what I’m doing.
By the same token, you might not have heard of me yet. It is likely you haven’t. You might not have heard of my dear friend Terrence or of what death taught him and how the lessons he learns can benefit you and those you hold dear.
Someone said to me today that I needed to begin building a platform. This is someone I trust and respect. If she says it, it’s probably true. “Before your book comes out, let people know who you are.”
And so here we are. You’re reading these words and you’re thinking, Maybe I should read that book!
I would be deeply honored if you would. As both an author and a reader, I do not take for granted the time readers invest in stories. As a differently abled person in an able society, I know my story might seem, on its face, different to you. A little out there. I promise you it is a universal yarn. If it doesn’t change your life, I respect that, and I respect you for giving my friend Terrence a chance.
But it might just change your life. It might. In small but profound ways, just as it changed mine while I wrote it.
To me, any novel with the potential to change lives might just deserve the moniker of The Next Great Novel You Haven’t Heard Of Yet.
Does What Death Taught Terrence rise to this level?
I know what my answer is. What’s yours?
Stay informed on all things What Death Taught Terrence and be the first to know when the book comes out by liking Terrence at http://www.facebook.com/whatdeathtaught