My Sea Urchin Saga: Self-Publisher Undaunted by Setbacks

March 2007
by Tom Kendrick

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My Sea Urchin Saga:
Self-Publisher Undaunted by Setbacks


by Tom Kendrick


I was a lousy student. In
fact, at writers’ clubs and publishers’ meetings I’ve attended, I always seem
to be the only one who didn’t graduate from college. The only things I was good
at were surfing and diving.


After I did graduate from high
school (barely) and after a four-year stint in the Air Force, I went to work on
fishing boats and ended up spending 22 years as a diver in the California sea
urchin fishery. I worked with the craziest guys and had hair-raising
adventures, including multiple encounters with great white sharks.


All through the years, over and
over, my friends kept saying: “Somebody needs to write a book about our
adventures!” In 1998, I began scribbling a simple chronology of our crazy way
of life and some stories about the wild things, the hilarious things, and the
tragic things that routinely happened to us. Two years later, I had a 100-page
double-spaced manuscript. “I’ve got a book!” I proudly proclaimed, and I rushed
off to have it edited and bound. The first editor to have a look at it called
it “incomprehensible gibberish, not fit for publication.” I was crushed, and I
gave up.


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