Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Steve Starger, Author of Misfits and Supermen

Steve Starger is a journalist, author, and musician. His 2006 book, “Wally’s World: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Wally Wood, the World’s Second-Best Comic-Book Artist,” was short-listed for the Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Comics Related Book of 2006.

The bond of brotherhood is hard to break, but a lifetime of dealing with familial expectation, bitterness, and psychological disorders can bend and warp it into something nearly unrecognizable. This story tells the tale of two brothers: Melvyn, the elder, whose amalgamation of disorders leave him completely unable to function within society; and Stephen, the
younger, whose own emotional and psychological issues are overshadowed to the point where he becomes little more than a pale and twisted reflection of his brother.

On different ends of the same spectrum, Melvyn is blissfully unaware of their troubling connection (or so his brother can only assume), but for Stephen, it is undeniable. He lives with it every day, sensing his own otherness in every twitch, outburst, and inability of his brother to overcome his inner demons. Left largely on his own to deal with his peculiarities-while carrying the burden of being "the normal one," of whom much is expected- Stephen begins a complicated and unpredictable journey, one which will take him as far from his brother as he can manage to get, even as it brings them inexorably closer.

A portion of proceeds from this book will go toward the Camp Cuheca Scholarship - Melvyn D. Starger fund at Waterford Country School, Quaker Hill, CT., to help fund a two-week summer residency at the camp. For more information about Waterford Country School, please email

“A finely crafted, affecting memoir of two brothers.”
-- Kirkus Reviews
If you want an honest book about life with mental illness in the family, this is it. Great writing. Brutally honest. Hard to put it down. Great stories about CT, NY and CA from the 1940s to 2000.”

--Amazon Reviewer



Barnes & Noble

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I’ve always had ambitions to write, all the way back to early childhood.
Is this your first book?
No. In 2006, I published Wally’s World: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Wally Wood, the World’s Second-Best Comic-Book Artist. The book was short-listed for the Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Comics-Related Book of 2006.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
My first book was published by a third-party press, but I self-published Misfits and Supermen with Friesen Press because I felt a kind of urgency to get the story of my brother out into the world. Finding a third-party publisher can be a long, agonizing process.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I received my first professional byline when I was 19, a theater review for my local newspaper when I was in college. I spent about 30 years as a professional journalist, and I also have written plays and fiction. My “journey” has been at times more like a rollercoaster ride, which I think is typical of the writing life. I wouldn’t change one second of it.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Publishing is an extremely difficult goal to achieve. One has to be dedicated or crazy to do it. Developing a very thick skin is a requirement, as is faith in one’s work.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Self-publishing, these days, can be very rewarding and legitimate. The days of the “vanity press” are gone, thankfully. Many self-publishing houses produce beautiful books and give the kind of editorial help that third-party publishers are known to give. In terms of post-publishing support, self-published books are positioned well these days to receive the same kind of promotional support that a small third-party press might give.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
If you feel you have what it takes to be a published writer, don’t give up! Be your own toughest critic and move ahead, if your work demands it.

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