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Rants and Rambles,Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

June 5, 2014

The SELF in Self-Publishing Explained

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Paw Prints In My Heart brings my total to five books; four novels and now a dog book I never planned to write but had to write. I’m fiercely proud of this unexpected non-fiction offering, as well the novels.

Writing the story of the dog of my life’s improbably wonderful long life was a labor of love. Great personal therapy, too.

At the same time, I’m all too aware of what the ‘Self’ in Self-Publishing really means. Ouch.

There is no agent to encourage, guide, and help to persevere. I had a NYC literary agent once and still scratch my head at all he did – and didn’t – do. In fairness, our relationship was born during the early days of the manic self-publishing explosion that redefined the conventional book business and led to the demise of publishers and retail stores, et al.

And our relationship was seasoned during the darkest days of the economic meltdown.

Timing is everything – or nothing – depending upon your point of view.

So I self-published my crime thriller trilogy, then another novel, The Do-Over, with a 21 year-old college girl as a hero, and just now the story of the dog of my life and how he changed my life and taught me so much without ever saying a word.

But self-publishing means there is precious little help and even less support.

No editor catching the typos and wayward commas I can’t see.

No promotional department to help get it out there.

And no agent urging me on.

Only my wife to wipe my fevered brow, pat my back and tell me it was all worthwhile. Thank you, my love!

Like all the writers like me, we depend upon you.

Reading it.

Enjoying it.

Telling others about it.

All part of the dream of someday, somehow, catching lightning in a bottle.

I’m hoping to live long enough to become an overnight success.

So check out Paw Prints in My Heart. Paperbacks and Kindle eBooks at amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Andrew+Hessel&search-alias=books&text=Andrew+Hessel&sort=relevancerank

If you like it, please review it. And then share it with folks that might get comfort from it during times of grieving for dearly departed furry four-legged friends.

My hope is that dog lovers will see a bit of their dog in my beloved old Lab, Mac.

And that non-dog lovers read it and reconsider.

And that everyone has a dog of their life at least once in their life.

Thanks for reading.

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer

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Self-Publishing,Uncategorized,Writing Process Random Thoughts

May 6, 2014

PAW PRINTS IN MY HEART – AVAILABLE JUNE 2014

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

I never planned to write a dog book, but Paw Prints in My Heart isn’t a My Dog book, it’s a Great Dogs book I hope you’ll read and enjoy. It’s Mac’s story and chronicles an improbably wonderful life, our friendship, and the remarkable lessons an old dog taught me. Writing it helped me heal after losing the dog of my life, my best friend and my writing partner.

E-books and paperbacks will available through Amazon by the second week of June, and cyber-gods willing, links on the site, too. I’ll just make my self-imposed deadline of publishing by the first anniversary of Mac’s passing by a whisker – sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Available June 2014

Available June 2014

I called Mac my writing partner, and he really was. He inspired the name of my publishing company, Old Dog Publishing; a character, ‘Weller’, and the title of my second novel, The Old Dog’s New Trick. He also graces its cover, became a recurring character in Imperfect Resolution. I was bringing him back in the next book in the series when he died. When that happened, I put the novel aside; I had unfinished business.

As I wrote Paw Prints, my hopes for it fundamentally changed. More than a story sure to summon laughs and tears, I saw a chance to help grieving pet owners like me transition through painful loss. When Mac passed, I was truly touched when my vet sent flowers. Now, on this side of it, I can’t help but feel a book like this may have helped me heal.
Here’s the brief Foreword to Paw Prints.

Paw Prints in My Heart is Mac’s story.

I think of it as my gift to our family and all of his friends, two and four-legged, that had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and being loved by this magnificent old Labrador retriever. It’s my best attempt to capture and chronicle a remarkable life, the pain and sadness of his passing, but most of all, his joyful impact upon us over what truly was a most improbable life of fourteen years and a day. A reverent and grateful tribute to a gentle and pure spirit that for me will always be a living reminder of a loving friend in the very truest sense.

In every way, this book was a labor of love and joy to write. Parts will make you laugh, and others may bring you to tears, so a tissue at times may be advised. But I have the highest hopes that you’ll read it, enjoy it, and connect in ways that only you can understand. Maybe even share it with friends that might understand and pass it along, as a comfort for a true friend they’ve lost, and for what they’ve experienced, and a way for them to remember the laughter and happy times through their tears.

I hope dog lovers everywhere read this book and see a bit of their dog in Mac.

I hope that the non-dog lovers amongst us read this book and reconsider.

I hope that everyone has at least one dog of their life in their life.

My first novel Rush to Dawn, was, in many ways a love letter to my wife, Lynne.

This book, I’d like to believe, is a love letter from Mac to all of us.

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

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Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

September 11, 2012

BOOK READING: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH

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7:00 P.M.  Garden Home Community Library

Hi Everyone!

I’ll be reading from The Do-Over and Imperfect Resolution and share a few thoughts about my next book, what I’m reading, the writing process, the oh-so-crazy book biz and predictably unpredictable rants and rambles.

Please join us if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you!

Located on 7475 SW Oleson Road on the corner of Oleson and Garden Home in SW Portland.

Hope to see you there!

Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

May 1, 2012

THE DO-OVER: My new novel of love, hope and second chances.

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

My new book is a departure from the crime thrillers I dearly love but a novel I couldn’t be more excited about and hope you check-out by taking a test-read.  Just download a Free Preview, the first seven chapters.  What follows is the Author’s Note.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

If you’ve come looking for a Cups Drayton crime thriller, this isn’t one of them, but stay with me a minute.  I think The Do-Over is a novel that will touch you; the pages will turn and you’ll be glad you read it.

I’m the author, and I guarantee it.  Why?

I love this book, and for more than the obvious reasons.

For example, I can’t point to any one genre and say it’s one of those.  There are elements of different genres, so you may as well call it a thriller-love story with a dash of fantasy and a sci-fi twist, and while that’s not quite right it’s not all wrong, either.

So how did this happen and why did I write it?

The truth is I didn’t plan on it.

But stories like to take on lives of their own; this one surely did.  The characters revealed it, as they like to do; crazy as it sounds, that’s how it is for me, and I grew to love them.

Late last summer, Lynne and I were having a drink on the patio one Saturday night. Imperfect Resolution was just wrapping up, and she asked, what are you writing next?

More Cups stories to tell, I said.  I had ideas for three novels I was playing with.

She smiled, and then asked innocently, what do you think people want?

Now, that’s trickier, I thought, and then said, what we want – and what we need – is a little hopeThe world seems so dark at times a little piercing-of-the-gloom couldn’t hurt.

Then, she asked the really big one:  Ever thought about writing a novel of … hope?

Not exactly, but I am now, I said, and knew I wanted to live with that amazing idea a while, and let it simmer and stew.

For me to take a detour from the Cups series, it had to be some story.

Stepping away from Cups wasn’t easy.  I miss him, and the other characters of the series, too, and intend on reconnecting with them again soon.

But, the idea that came to me thrilled me, and even better it moved me, and the writing of The Do-Over was nothing less than the most fun I’ve ever had.

And get this, what’s coming from a crime fiction junkie of the first order.

Beyond everything else in the novel, I couldn’t be more surprised by the love story or more delighted with it.

I hope you enjoy The Do-Over and will be happy that you read it.  A writer can’t ask for more than that.

Please visit my website, read my blog, Friend me, Like me, shoot me an email, enjoy life and otherwise be well and happy.

All the best to all of you and all of yours and, as always, thanks for reading!

May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep.

andrew hessel

PORTLAND, OREGON

April 2012

Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

March 21, 2012

HOW STRANGERS BECOME OLD FRIENDS

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Where do the stories come from?  I get asked a lot and it’s a fair question.  There is some wild-ass stuff in my novels, but don’t blame me, blame the characters.  They reveal the story as we get to know each other.  Starting out as strangers, characters become old friends.

My stories have always begun with the characters and the stories unfold as I get to know them.  I read the great Elmore Leonard writes this way, and welcomed that news.

Not to suggest I operate without a game plan.  I’ve got one, but it’s fluid.  I’ll sit down with plot ideas, a few bullets points for each chapter, but often ignore them and let the writing gods guide me.

I’ve learned the characters often have something entirely different in mind.

Rush to Dawn, my first Cups Drayton crime thriller, was interesting because I had no idea what to expect.  I started with Cups and Willie, and it went from there.

That said, a third of the way through, when I was getting to know them as I couldn’t possibly have known them at the outset, furiously revised because of it.

This getting-know-the-characters-thing continued with each book of the Cups Drayton Series. I discovered new characters, and they revealed the story.  That was very cool.

This dynamic really escalated to a whole new level with my new book, The Do-Over.

The hero, Kiki Kinsler, isn’t a maverick FBI Special Agent battling bad guys that are badder than bad, but a 21 year-old college coed.  And the novel straddles multiple genres; think a crime thriller-love story with a fantasy twist and a sprinkle of sci-fi.

When I finished The Do-Over a few weeks ago, I faced a bigger dilemma than with any of the previous three novels.

Kiki was challenging, given the gender and generational departure, but it was really much more than that.

At the end of the novel, I knew her and loved her, as I hadn’t when I’d begun writing.

We were strangers at the beginning but had become old friends by the end.

The wonder is how this enabled and motivated me to go back and rewrite with that knowledge.  Happily, both the story and her character benefit because of it.

I love this book, and think of The Do-Over as a novel of hope, love and second chances.

Everyone dreams of a second chance; the question is how far would you go for yours?

As I got to know Kiki, she gave me a second chance to tell her story.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

March 18, 2012

SELF-PUBLISHING A YEAR LATER …

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Life-changing decisions aren’t easy.  Parting ways with my agent to self-publish was no exception. With three books published and an exciting new novel a few weeks away, I’m celebrating my website’s first birthday and asking the big question:  What have I learned?

Seriously, how could I go through the last year without learning something?

The truth is I’ve learned a ton; most of it good, and I’ve have had fun.  This is the right time to take my temperature, so here goes.

A year ago I had no real idea how the self-publishing business worked, or how to manage and maintain a website, or if anyone would visit, or how I’d keep writing with all the other stuff to juggle.

So, on the plus side of the ledger …

The players, vendors and kindred spirits in the self-publishing world for the most part have been great, helpful, supportive and human.

Web traffic has been gratifying:  thousands and thousands of visitors, and growing each month.

My books and blog have been well received by readers – I’m truly grateful for that.

My new book, The Do-Over, is a novel of hope, love and second chances.

A huge change of pace from my crime thrillers, and I can’t wait for people to read it.

To help make that happen, I’ll be offering the first seven chapters free to anyone that asks, think of it as a no-strings test-read.

And on the less positive side …

Doing battle, as a one-man-army, in the self-publishing trenches is hard.  At times it seems there’s too much to ever get done and the degree of difficulty is daunting.

Getting the books to readers harder is even harder.  The freedom to self-publish entitles authors to nothing more than the ability to join fray with everyone else fighting to pierce the clutter.  You could say that access doesn’t guarantee access.

When I consider the old-guard book biz and think about the new-era book biz, factor in all I’ve learned of success and failure from experts and insiders, as well as novices and outsiders, when it comes to making it, what strikes me is not all that much has changed.

As has always been the case, it’s better to be lucky than smart.

I have to confess I wouldn’t mind more of each.

From time to time, people ask me questions about the past year.

Am I satisfied?  Disappointed?  Hopeful?  Discouraged?  Optimistic?  Weary?

The answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the above and more, part of the time.

The other day, someone close asked me if I miss my agent?

Huh?  I missed him when he was my agent.

The truth, success or lack of success notwithstanding, is I love telling stories.

And for the agony and the ecstasy of the past year, writing The Do-Over was the most fun I’ve ever had.

Being able to say that is truly an amazing gift.

I guess I’m really lucky that way.

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

March 2, 2012

READ IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT!

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I’m an author offering you a no strings test drive.

And I’d like to think that’s an offer tough to refuse.

Before buying any of my books, eBooks or paperbacks, you can download a Free PDF of Rush to Dawn and read as much as you like, and then decide.

Rush is an amazing story, a page-turner with characters you’ll love, love to hate, and remember.

Although my novels can be read in any order, Rush to Dawn is the first part of a trilogy of Cups Drayton crime thrillers.

As a writer and a reader, I’d like to think, and my readers agree, that in The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, the stories and the characters get better and better.

Something else I’d like you to know.

My new book, The Do-Over, will be available May 1st.

It’s a novel of hope, love and second chances.

I love the story and hope it touches you, truly believing you’ll be glad you read it.

The Do-Over is quite a departure from my crime thrillers, but a story I had to tell.  I absolutely love the book.

A dear friend, one of my cadre of early readers, cracked me up after reading it the other day.

He said, “You know, if you write one novel it’s a hobby.”

“OK,” I said.

“If you write four, like you have, you’re a novelist.”

I agreed, he was right, again.

“Know what you are if you write twenty?”  He asked me, and before I could come up with an answer, said, “You’re a hack.”

When I stopped laughing, I said, “I hope I live that long, I got started a little late.”

If you’re still reading, please check out Rush and get to know me.

To get the Free Download Click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series Click:  About the Books!

Thanks for reading and may the pages turn and deprive you of sleep!

andrew

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

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 Email me, I’ll answer

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Rants and Rambles,Writing Process Random Thoughts

February 17, 2012

ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF THE YEAR – PITCHERS & CATCHERS REPORT

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

 

When winter gets us down, political mindlessness ramps up, and little seems right with the world, a ray of sunshine pierces the gloom, albeit imported from Florida and Arizona.  Hope springs eternal: Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Baseball is back.


I’m a 24/7/365 baseball fan, so for me, it’s one of the best days of the year, but it goes beyond baseball.

I love the game, consider it the best ever created, and baseball is a huge part of our cultural history and experience.  The sights and sounds of summer recalling memories of childhood, success, failure, hopes and dreams, grounding and comforting in its constancy.

 

Baseball has always been there for us, through the darkest times of depression and wars and profound cultural upheaval.  This cerebral, maddening, perplexing and poetic game is a living link to the happier days of the past and to brighter days ahead.

Hopefully.

And there it is. I said it:  Hope.

That hope springs eternal thing that every fan counts on.

Considering the harsh realities of the 21st Century, many of us cling to hope about more momentous things than competing for a pennant.

Hope, as it turns out, is what my new book, The Do-Over, is all about.

Late last summer, as I was finishing Imperfect Resolution, my wife asked the big question.

What are you going to write next?

Loving the characters and the genre, I told her I planned more Cups Drayton crime thrillers.

Then Lynne asked another question.

What is it that people really want?

Wow.  Now there’s a really big question, but I answered right away.

HOPE, because the world has become so friggin’ CRAZY and DARK at times.

Lynne challenged me to write a novel about hope, and The Do-Over was born.

It’s a novel of hope, love and second chances.

Everyone dreams of a second chance.  The question is how far would you go for yours?

I know you’ll enjoy The Do-Over when it’s published this summer.

And for now, Play Ball!

All the best to all of you and all of yours – but before I go, one more thing –

If you enjoy the blog, you’ll love my books.

Please download my first novel, Rush to Dawn, for FREE!

Rush is the first Cups Drayton crime thriller. Like the other books in the series, The Old Dog’s New Trick and Imperfect Resolution, also available as eBooks and trade paperbacks.

To get the Free Download click:  Get the Books!

To learn about the Series click:  About the Books!

May the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Show me some ‘Like’

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1439767049

Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

December 19, 2011

THIS TIME, AN ‘IMPERFECT’ LAUNCH WAS, WELL … PERFECT!

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

Self-publishing, and its accompanying technological wonders, are a blessing and a curse.  For Indie writers like me, there is a miraculous side to it.  As a veteran with my third crime thriller, I’d never call the process “seamless and smooth”.  Gut wrenching is more like it.

Still, Imperfect Resolution has arrived.  Here’s a link:  Get the Books!

Yet, the newest entry into The Cups Drayton series was not without the missteps and crises along the way that I’ve come to expect as my style, for better or worse.

My sister, Susan, again rescued me and made it possible.  Sue beat Adobe’s InDesign software into adequate submission and created the PDF file.  This piece of the puzzle went comparatively well, and that should have signaled the struggles to come.

The first shipment of trade paperbacks arrived with ‘undersized’ front cover art.

Sue again came to my rescue and responded by tweaking the file and returning it to me remamed as “Imperfect Cover”.

eBook Architects again did a masterful job converting the files to Kindle and ePub eBooks.  They even caught a word that was inexplicably underlined, and asked if I meant it to be a link.  Joshua Tallent and his fantastic staff truly offer honest value and superior service. 

These great folks fixed it when I told them mostaccioli was simply my favorite pasta and I was unaware of mostaccioli.com.

The upload to Amazon’s Kindle store, and then to the Barnes and Noble, Sony and iBooks online stores through BookBaby, was relatively calm.  Kudos to both services that perform as advertised without crushing your spirit.

Last Friday, after meeting my self-imposed launch date for Imperfect Resolution, I ran into new and unforeseen problems where I least expected to find them.

I use WordPress for my website, swear by ‘em and still do.  But this time, something happened that did stop me cold:  I was able to create a Newsletter to announce the new book but a glitch prevented me from adding my mailing listI couldn’t send it out.

Despite heroic efforts by my web designer, Rob Goodwin of AboutWD, it refused to cooperate.  Just goes to show you that something that worked perfectly in the past is no reason to assume it will work next time around.

It wasn’t until 24 hours later than I’d cobbled a less than ideal workaround together, that may have actually worked, although not flawlessly by any means.

Happily, I’ve heard from friends and fans, some folks have bought the new book.

You might say that Imperfect Resolution was birthed with an Imperfect Launch.

Perfectly appropriate, I’d say.  Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Holidays and all the best to all of you and all of yours – may the pages keep turning and deprive you of sleep!

 Visit me on the Web       

www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Check-out the Blog          

www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

 Like my Author Page      

www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

 Email me, I’ll answer    

andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

 Friend Me on Facebook       

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Self-Publishing,Writing Process Random Thoughts

September 20, 2011

SIX MONTHS LATER, TAKING MY WEB, BLOG and PUBLISHING TEMPERATURE

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon –

“If you knew then what you know now, would you?”  Whenever, wherever and however you step-off the pier, ultimately that’s the question.  For all the folks getting ready to take the plunge, or those of you already out on the ledge, here’s a take from a kindred spirit.  Old dogs really can – and have to – learn new tricks.

Six months ago I self-published the first two Cups Drayton crime thrillers in eBook and trade paperback formats, launched the website, started blogging and began to learn what it would take for a one-man-army to survive in today’s ever-changing book biz.

The miracle – and thankfully, salvation – is that through it all, it’s still possible to write, and feedback from readers has been nothing less than humbling and inspiring.  It may sound corny, but my objective is for each book to be my best work yet.

Imperfect Resolution is in final editing and will be available for the Holidays. Although it’s part three of the Mirano Trilogy, the novels can be read in any order.  I’m proud of IR, really love the story and the characters, and think you will, too.

And, I’ve begun a different kind of thriller,                The Do-Over, and will write more about it later.

So, from a writing standpoint, I couldn’t happier.  Whew.

The website has been well received and traffic, in the form of thousands of unique visitors, et al, has grown steadily every month.

Thanks for the many kind words about the simple design and easy-to-use features.  I’ll accept them in behalf of the good folks smarter than me who are responsible for it.

I’m loving the blog and appreciate the readership, feedback and the Likes, etc. 

I’m writing about stuff that interests, amuses, outrages or moves me.   Posting links to rants and rambles of all kinds to my Facebook Personal Profile Page, and links to other posts – about books I’m reading and the book business or the writing process – to my Facebook Author Page. 

I’d love it if you Friend me and Like me at  www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

The very hardest part of it all is the business.

Still, I’m selling some books and making some progress.  Although not nearly enough to maintain a living-indoors lifestyle, the royalties do buy coffee at Starbucks on Sundays.

I’ve met a lot wonderful people, and made some wonderful new friends.

Absolutely loving what I do, but for all of the progress, like most of us, I’m still awaiting a break.

I’d still like to believe there is at least one book reviewer out there who believes that every page-turner doesn’t have to emanate from a New York publishing house.

I watched a fascinating piece on Hugh Laurie of House recently.

He said something that I think sums up the capricious reality of all creative pursuits, but the more I think about it, it sums up life is so many ways.

– Ya gotta be lucky, because luck plays an incomprehensively major role.

Judging by this week’s lottery tickets …

Thanks for reading, and all the best to all of you and all of yours.

May the pages turn and deprive you of sleep!

Visit me on the Web       

 www.PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Check-out the Blog          

 www.ReadersandWritersCommunity.com

Like my Author Page      

 www.facebook.com/andrewhesselnovels

Email me, I’ll answer    

 andrew@PleaseReadMyBookBeforeIDie.com

Friend Me on Facebook       

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