Necessity Is a Mother Part I—Becoming a Fiction
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I suppose I should start by plugging my books. Always start out by plugging your books. You may never get another chance. So here goes. The Last Open Road is a hopefully funny, worthwhile, and entertaining coming-of-age story about a 19-year-old New Jersey gas station mechanic set against the backdrop of postwar open road sports car racing in the Eisenhower 50s. It was originally self-published (in July of 1994) for one very simple reason. Nobody else wanted anything to do with it. “Oh, it’s a wonderful story,” as one particularly snotty and arrogant young lady in the New York publishing business told me, “but those people don’t read!”
So, with my wife Carol’s trembling approval, we took out a second mortgage, formed our own publishing company—Think Fast Ink, and published it ourselves in July of 1994. Our necks were stuck out a country mile! If this thing flopped, our son might not be going to college. Fortunately, the book got great reviews (none, I might add, in the mainstream “book” media—more on that later), sold out two hardcover printings (about 12,000 copies at 25 bucks each), and became something of a cult classic on the old car hobbyist/motor sports scene. Or to put it less delicately, among those very same people who “don’t read” that the know-it-all New York publishing lady warned me about. Ultimately The Last Open Road attracted the attention of St. Martin’s Press, who bought the rights a…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).
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