Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guest Blogger: Book Publishing Secrets of Steven Verrier, author of TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART

I’ve been writing seriously since I was a teenager … first songs, and then I got hooked on prose while attending university … thanks in part to one of the greatest teachers I ever had, Prof. Frank Ledwell of the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, who mentored innumerable young writers during his distinguished career there. After completing undergraduate studies in Canada, I spent many years living and working overseas, particularly in Japan. Somewhere along the way I earned graduate degrees at Columbia and the University of Iowa, and I continued to write … getting some short plays published, along with articles and a nonfiction book titled RAISING A CHILD TO BE BILINGUAL AND BICULTURAL, based on my and my Japanese wife’s experience raising our children to be fluent in both parents’ native languages and cultures. More recently I’ve been concentrating on fiction, and my first novel, TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART, was released by Saga Books earlier this year. A second novel, PLAN B, will be published by Saga Books in 2009.

TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART, though not my first published book, is my first published novel. It’s the story of Don Fisher, a middle-aged misfit—just about everything has gone wrong in his life—who finally meets the sort of woman he’s given up on ever meeting. This happens while he’s on vacation in Venezuela. The woman, Ana, is Colombian, working as a waitress in Caracas, and while the two don’t exactly have a storybook romance, a child is conceived during Don’s vacation. He doesn’t learn this until he’s back in the States, but from that point on his energy is directed toward marrying Ana and bringing her to live in the US. Little does he realize the obstacles US Immigration is about to put in his path.

As to the road TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART and its author traveled en route to publication, it’s been long, bumpy, and often uphill. But if a writer writes about what he knows … from his own unique perspective … he’ll end up with a book no one else could have written. Whatever else happens, he’ll have something to be proud of … and I am proud of this book.

I plan to be around for the long haul doing whatever it takes to carve out a significant writing career. I appreciate every little step along the way, and I appreciate every little bit of support I get. For information about TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART or about Steven Verrier, visit stevenverrier.com, and drop me a line telling me what you think about this book.

Advice? Develop a thick skin. Be The Little Engine that Could. There are few successful writers that couldn’t paper their walls with rejection letters. Whatever your long-range plans may be, set little goals along the way, and be patient when even the tiniest steps take far longer than you’d imagined. And, of course, grit your teeth and be ready to outlast every obstacle you face.

Steven Verrier, born in the United States and raised mainly in Canada, has spent much of his life living and traveling abroad. He is the author of RAISING A CHILD TO BE BILINGUAL AND BICULTURAL (a prizewinning book published bilingually in Japan) and various short dramatic works for the student market. His first novel, TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART, was published in the summer of 2008 by Saga Books. Currently he is living with his wife, Motoko, and four sons in San Antonio, Texas. You can visit his website at www.stevenverrier.com.

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