I am grateful to be sharing this journey with your readers. Thank you.
After writing and publishing seventy-five articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and books, and writing grants to fund my research in the Oral Biology & Pathology Department as a Professor at Stony Brook University, I thought I was a writer. Wrong! When it came to write my spiritual memoir, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul, it was a very different experience. My first draft of my incomplete biography was about five-hundred plus pages. I just wrote and wrote wanting to capture every moment. When I looked at what I wrote, I said, “This stinks,” I need help.
I read Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual and picked out an editor, Gail Kearns, from his list at the back of his book. This was back in 2002 as the first edition of Divinely Inspired was published in 2003. The paperback came out as a second edition in January of 2009 under our Shechinah Third Temple, Inc. publishing wing. You wouldn’t want to have read Gail’s comments if you were me. “This is not a book,” she wrote and she was right. I went back to the drawing board and now instead of wrote and wrote, I cut and cut. What would be Gail’s response this time. “Well now Jerry, you have the makings of a book. You are about 80 percent there.” I was ecstatic. I now added a copy editor, Barbara Coster, listed in Dan’s book and Divinely Inspired soon was ready for publication.
I looked for a Publisher and quickly found out that no one is interested in a memoir of someone like myself, who is not a famous person. What the hell did they mean? I was a Professor and I was not only writing about my life, I was writing about miracles and God’s intervention into my life. Who wouldn’t be interested to read my book? The better question to ask might have been, who would want to read my book? So I gave up on the publishers and tried contacting agents. For the two or three who responded to my queries, the answer was the same as the publishers. Being a more than a little defiant and stubborn too, I threw caution to the wind and self-published. God leads humans in the direction they wish to go.
The self-publishing meant learning a whole new industry. I had to get my ISBN, my LCCN, find out about and learn book design programs, get a Book Cover Image, seek endorsements, and learn how to organize a book. With a lot of grit and inquisitiveness, I managed to put a book together. I was fortunate that my colleague, Phil Garant, at Stony Brook University was writing his own academic book and he helped me with the Adobe PageMaker program. I was also lucky that my youngest daughter Erin married Magnus, a graphic design artist and wonderful human being. My son-in-law is an exceptionally gifted artist but this was his first attempt at a Book Cover. I flew from New York to Los Angeles, and then Magnus and I drove to visit Alan Gadney and Carolyn Porter, marketing specialists, who told us exactly how to set up the Book Cover. They also set up our initial publicity campaign. Little did I know that writing and publishing the book was only five percent of the endeavor. The remainder was marketing which turns out to be far tougher.
The research for the book required more than two years of my time. I had a full time job as an academic at Stony Brook. I began writing the book after the unusual spiritual experiences I had in late 1998 that carried over to 1999 and thereafter. After about a month of writing, I realized that yes I was a scientist, but I didn’t know anything about my heritage and not much about anything else outside of science. Just about every day in the wee hours of the morning, I would be reading. I read the Hebrew Bible, parts of the New Testament, a bit of the Qur’an, other books on different religions like Buddhism, articles and book descriptions of the soul and faith, the origin of life and the universe, Creation and Evolution, and human anthropology. I condensed all of my readings into the Epilogue chapter of Divinely Inspired. Your readers may find the Epilogue interesting. My original ideas are penned in this last chapter. It’s where my faith came together with my science. I will always be a scientist, but I now have unshakable belief and trust in God. You can’t separate my science from my faith and vice versa. I see God as the master scientist responsible for both Evolution and Creation.
Although Divinely Inspired is an incomplete biography, I now realize that without writing my memoir, I probably wouldn’t have written the Messiah Interviews five years later in 2008. Maybe my third book will be another five years from now. I would like to complete the trilogy. In my dreams, I would like to tell God’s story in His own words so that humanity would know Him. It is prophesied that we shall know God in the Messianic Age at the End of Days; that is, if we are lucky enough to be admitted. I write about this in the Messiah Interviews.
You can find out more about me, the books, and our Third Temple Nonprofit by visiting our website at www.shechinahthirdtemple.org Go also to the Blog for additional information and publicity. If readers are interested in speaking with me, they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Again thank you for the opportunity to share with your readers. May I wish all of you much joy and happiness.
Jerry Pollock is the author of seventy-five scientific publications. His background includes both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Postdoctoral training in Microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Pollock is currently Professor Emeritus in the Oral Biology and Pathology Department in the School of Dental Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island. Jerry’s first writer of the arts book, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul, was a spiritual memoir originally published in 2003. The second edition of Divinely Inspired will be reissued in Paperback on Jan. 1, 2009. His ‘not so fictional’ novel, Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God, due out also on Jan. 1, 2009, is Jerry’s way of giving back to the Creator. Jerry is married to Marcia, his bashert or destined one. They reside in Florida.
For more about Jerry and his work, please visit www.shechinahthirdtemple.org.