Husband, Rugger, Cop, Narc, Sniper…Author?

As I write this, I stand at the verge of acquiring a new title and aspect of my self-identity.  Author.  Unbelievable…

The staff at Cyanide Publishing are diligently working to finalize design and initial content for the website and social media sites.  I’ve returned approvals for the book cover design and graphics, the digital and physical interior content, and we’re going over the complete physical covers (front and back) this week.  The digital Kindle version went up for pre-order several days ago, and has already seen interest and sales.  Unbelievable…

This has been such a long-term dream that, as it almost-hourly comes closer to fruition, I keep waiting for the bad news.  The technicality that halts the publishing efforts, voids our contract, forces me to start over at Square One.  I expect it’s entirely due to my professional cynicism, and my half-joking belief that ‘no good deed goes unpunished,’ or my simple apprehension of the unknown.  Whatever the base cause, every reported progress and surpassed hurdle as we move the Enemies Domestic project toward completion brings a flowing tide of celebration to our home.  Then, the celebration ebbs and jaded self-doubt replaces it.  Every subsequent, celebrated accomplishment better resists the jaded ebb than its predecessor, but none has yet been impervious to it.  Unbelievable…

I often hear some paraphrase of, “What is there to worry about, just enjoy this tremendous accomplishment.”  I disagree, and find there’s plenty to keep me up at night, and to wake my mind before my body’s ready to rise.  Enemies Domestic, my first fact-based fiction, will put my name in front of more people than I’ve ever met in my life.  The content of this book, along with my additional planned novels, is based on my personal experiences as a working cop, and is much more personal to me than I imagine fiction is for most authors.  To the reader, the scenes, characters, places, and events are fictional; for me, I lived through some of them, struggled through others, and a few detail ongoing dilemmas and personal obstacles.  Now, in a matter of days, I’m going to willingly open myself up to criticism and judgement.  I’m certain some folks will dislike my writing style, some will criticize the content.  I’m sure some will use their own perspective to doubt my credibility or invalidate my personal experience if it differs from their own, whether based on experience or hypothesis.  I know everyone will not like this story.  That’s fine.  I guess what I’m hoping to avoid is the critic who throws up that one-star, one-word review: “Unbelievable.”

I rationally understand the criticism will come, and that’s okay.  The written word, as any art form, doesn’t ever gain universal appeal.  I’m sure someone out there who finds fault with Michelangelo’s David, not that anything I’ll ever do can be analogized to such a visual masterpiece.  I’m probably more of a Dogs Playing Poker kinda writer.  So, I hope you’re into that kinda thing.

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