The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Book

I have basically finished my book that I have been writing for the past few months. I still have some editing to do, and I want to tweak the ending a bit. I also have to get a couple of permissions to use materials that require such.

Now comes the hard part. Publishing.

If anyone has any advice, email me.

In the meantime, I have to consider self-publishing or finding a literary agent, those types of things. E. Lynn Harris, the author of Basketball Jones who will be in town Friday(The Book Seller, St. Vincents (11-1) and Books-A-Million, Wildwood, (7 PM), self published his first book and sold copies out of his trunk. Now he's on his 11th novel and has had 5 New York Times best sellers. I don't really want to sell books out of my trunk. I drive a pick-up and there is no trunk.

Other popular self-publishers are Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box), Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence), Christopher Paolini (Eragon) and Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen(Chicken Soup for the Soul). Oh, and James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy).

So, much of selling a book seems to be marketing, and creating anticipation and that type of stuff. So here is the first publicity regarding my book. The genre is historical fiction. The time is 1965. The setting is Washington, D. C. Here's a preview.

Those Others
Navigating "The Riddle of Homosexuality" in 1965

In January and February of 1965 The Washington Post published a major series of 5 articles (titled "Those Others") dealing with homosexuality. (They really did, my uncle, who lived in D.C. at the time, sent me the articles last year which were given to him by a friend in 1965). These articles play a major role in the book.

My main character, 18 year old Michael, is sent from Tennessee to Washington by his family to find direction for his life under the guidance of Senator Ross Bass (Tennessee's junior senator at the time).

Michael is forced to deal with issues regarding his sexuality, and he uses the information in the newspaper articles to further his understanding. But the mis-information of the times also leads to confusion.

Michael also confronts his lack of understanding of race issues, and he befriends two college age civil rights workers from his home state who are in DC lobbying for passage of the Voting Rights Act, and in March, joins them and thousands of others in the Selma to Montgomery March, where he learns from certain high profile speakers about equality and human rights. But that trip is not without conflict and drama as well.

1965 was a turbulent time and Washington saw the first large scale anti Vietnam War demonstration (25,000 people) and the first gay rights picketing (10 people), which both occured on the same day, April 17. That was the day before Easter, and Michael's family was in town visiting for the first time. Things did not go well.

Woven through this is the story of Michael and his first lover, Alan.

The historical figures in the book include Senators Ross Bass and Al Gore,Sr., Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Viola Liuzzo, and Frank Kameny (who I spoke to about this work).

Doing the research on the Selma to Montgomery march, Bayard Rustin, and Frank Kameny not only helped create the basis for this book, but also increased my own understanding of history. And this, at a time during which so much history was being made, made all the research and time spent well worth it.

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