Monday, May 25, 2009

Secret Agents

Book cover # four, Life Along the Dousinberry

Secret Agents of Deception
By Ronnie Powell
There are I’m certain millions of people who want to become established and or published writers and I am one of them. For some it appears easy, others struggle, all motivated by the desire to write stories, articles and poetry. The more education a person obtains is undoubtedly an advantage. A writer should never write about something he or she is unfamiliar with and above all enjoy the writing. Obtain the guidelines of publishers that interest you and of course there are many others aspects to follow.
I began writing when very young simply because I love to tell stories. Most of the material was cast aside or misplaced. Over the years I have enjoyed reasonable success in selling my work, writing articles, short fiction, essays and documentaries. Selling was never a priority of mine and the clutter has grown in a loft size room of my home. Writing books was and still remains a favorite pastime with five completed at present. Fiction is my favorite genre for I am a close companion to my imagination and enjoying the freedom to create a tale. Nonfiction is essential providing the populace with much needed information, but fiction is also an important diversity. I have written one nonfiction book, but have over the years dissected it to be used in short publications.
I discovered rather quickly, most publishers will not accept a manuscript without a literary agent’s representation or perhaps from an established writer of some renown. I am not sure I understand this policy unless it is to weed out the want-to-be writers or to simply be reassured the work will sell; nevertheless, it seems a bit extreme shutting all the gates even to the back forty. My first attempt at obtaining a publisher was to send out quires of which about half came back unopened and the remainder contained cold impersonal rejections. I took it on the chin and decided to look for a literary agent who hopefully would represent my work and that would prove to be a daunting task.
I went online and began looking through the seemingly endless lists of agents, researching as closely as possible to find those agency charging no reading fees or excessive service charges etc. Bear in mind these early attempts were like wandering into wolf country and I the lamb strode forward head held high, confident I would find the right literary agent.
Most agencies are I am convinced reputable groups, rejecting most of the queries that do not represent established writers. Lurking along the shadowy gauntlet are people who claim to be agents, even posting a no reading fee and other acceptable aspects. They are convincing, leading you on to believe you have at last found an outlet for your work. I was duped and it cost me in dollars and wounded pride.
I did not give up and continued searching occasionally locating an agency that appeared to be honest, but quickly learned it was just another bloodsucking scam and I stepped away. There were a couple of reputable agencies who wanted to develop the book, requesting in one instance to add colorful language and another did not want to accept my illustrations as a part of the package. I politely declined.
During the years at attempting to find an agent, I became a bit discouraged but kept writing. In the following months two magazines began publishing stories of mine, both nonfiction and fiction. I was also published in a few newspapers of which added to my writing résumé. They were narrow trails of progress leading somewhere, but slowly and then two of my ghost stories were published in a book by Joan Gilbert, an independent publisher.
I changed course, exited the meandering road through the tangle of literary agencies and set my sights on Independent Publishing. It was and still remains an exciting endeavor. My first book South Through Bare Foot Pass came out in 2006, the second Tiddleson, Son of Tiddle soon to follow. Both of these books sold well to people near and far and that was encouraging. Each book generated enough funds to publish another, leaving a modest profit. A Stranger in London Smoke, the third book was enormously popular. The fourth book, Life along the Dousinberry will be published in the near future and many have reserved a copy. The books are limited editions and will not be monumental publications in excess of a thousand or more copies and generate fortunes, but they are my stories to share with others. The stories are within enduring copies of the highest quality and are suitable for any age group
I am eternally grateful to those who have purchase these books and their loyalty. I am also grateful to those who visited this blog and left your comments. My journey to becoming a published author has been interesting and I do not intend to return to the shadowy traces where secret agents lurk to prey on dreams and honest toil. Adios