Monday, September 10, 2007

ONLY MOMENTS by Nick Oliva

“Only Moments” was originally written within the cyclical theme of Birth, Death, and Rebirth over ten years ago. I focused on the unforgiving world, the false hope of technology and religion, incorporating one’s own search and questioning of the spiritual aspects that provide some measure of meaning, and then tying it into the romance of total devotion of man and wife. Some might call it a fairy tale romance, but there are many “high school” relationships that have survived the test of time, however difficult. These two characters are both heavily flawed but those flaws are what binds and drives them with their deep passion for music.

The road, throughout the novel is representative of one’s life path and sense of curiosity and discovery. I spent years coming very close to the publication of this book through the Irene Rodgers Literary Association but as close as it was, it didn't get published. I eventually put it on hold for years until I was motivated to attempt it once more.

As time went by, I realized that I had to include the events of the World Trade Towers but needed to wait until it wouldn’t seem as if I was using those events just to capitalize on public sentiment. As it turns out, the waiting was for the better. The characters lived in New York City at this time and it gave me a chance to expand upon the themes echoed throughout the book as well as break a few rules and show a glimpse of the secondary character in her own words. I’m sure I will receive much criticism for the breach, but I don’t care, as rules are made to be broken occasionally. Considering those who do the criticizing most of the time, those critics usually have nothing to show and have taken no chances in the fields that they critique.

The first Saturday in October 2004, I woke up and couldn’t move my left leg at all. I had a fever over 102 and had my wife, Joan take me to the Emergency Room. It was there that I was diagnosed with a spinal infection, probably caused by cortisone injections. Dr. Derrick Duke -the man who saved Roy Horn’s life after Montecore, the tiger that had just about severed Mr. Horn’s head from his body accidentally at the Siegfried and Roy Show at the Mirage -was called in and he explained the severity of my situation. Far from routine, I would be fighting for my life. I underwent a 5-hour emergency operation that and afterwards had Vancomycin intravenously pumped into my arm directly to my heart for the next eight weeks to fight off the spinal infection.

On the second day after the operation, while in critical condition, about 2 AM in the morning, still hooked up to the heart monitors in ICU, my heart stopped for 12 seconds. I experienced an out-of-body phenomena that catapulted me into another world. This happened twice while I was there. My experience was very similar to the fiction I had written in this book many years ago. Much like the character Chris, I came back with a different understanding and as I fought to come back to the living, the transition left me with a totally changed perspective. It was my life imitating my own art. I spent the next five weeks wired-up in the hospital.

In January of 2005, Dr. Duke operated on my neck and screwed a titanium butterfly on my cervical spine and I got the use of my right arm back.

In short, I recovered, although my left leg is still disabled from nerve damage that is more than likely permanent, I moved on with a new determination to get this book published among other things. I went through incredible things with my near death experience. It showed me that the things I believed in, the core of my beliefs, were really right in line with what I went through. This reinforcement of my life’s search renewed the vigor of discovery within me and gave me the impetus to push forward and get this book published.

I chose a "print on demand" (not a vanity press) publishing house as the major publishers cannot be bothered with new authors. Almost all publishing houses are headed to POD as it is cost effective and it eliminates returns from bookstores. Remember, it's about money and unless you are a celebrity or a murderer or both, you have little chance of them signing you unless you are a proven commodity.

Once published, now comes the hard part, getting it read, getting it sold. There is no one way or miracle formula. It is persistence of effort, constantly keeping alert to opportunities to promote and market yourself. It will cost you money and time even if you are published with Random House or Doubleday. You have to promote yourself. If you can afford the cost get a public relations firm to assist you nationally with radio interviews and book reviews (fewer and fewer newspapers even do reviews of books now). Call your hometown newspaper, try sending copies to local periodicals for review.

The measure of your success depends on what level you want to achieve. Be careful that you do not set unrealistic goals and set yourself up for failure and despondence. Take a little chunk at a time. Start with a web presence, create a blog, get your family to buy the book (a major task believe me!), get your friends to buy the book even though they expect it for free because "you are their friend." Explain to them how they should support your cause as once your "make it" you will mention their name on Oprah's show. Tell them anything, just get sales going before your book goes into obscurity.

Stay positive. Many people will tear into your to make themselves look good.

Accept reality. Perhaps your book isn't up to snuff. Go back an rewrite and make it clear to your audience and target market.

Don't assume! Never assume that the world needs another book.

Why is yours so special?

What makes it stand out? Does it stand out? Remember this-your finished a novel. 99% of the people who start one don't and rarely does anyone even begin one. You are part of 3 billion people in this world. Do the percentages. One percent of 3 billion is 30 million, one tenth of that is 3 million and one tenth of that is 300,000 and that is roughly how many books get published each year. That means you have 1/100th of a chance to be a part of 300,000 books that are for sale. That's a sobering thought! So don't get your hopes up or your expectations too high. On the other hand, do it for you! That's who counts anyway. You did it, you accomplished an incredible thing. Don't downplay it because you aren't on Oprah, or the movie of the week isn't based on your book. Life is about the little things. Enjoy them and be proud! Smell the roses.

Nick Oliva

No comments:

Post a Comment