Well, it’s launch day for my first novel COMING HOME, and I need to start off by thanking everyone involved. To my early beta readers – Phil & Kathy Kleinheinz, John Dequine, and Lisa Cope. Your feedback on the first readable draft of the novel was invaluable and really helped me shape the final version in ways I wouldn’t have been able to on my own. I hope when you get a chance to read it again you’ll not only enjoy it even more, but be able to sift through it and know which parts were a direct result of your influence. To my editor, Erica Garvin, I hope you know how much I appreciated working with you and that I learned even more about the craft of writing a readable manuscript from your edits. I don’t think I’ll ever quite look at a comma again in the same way! 🙂 To my cover designer Sherwin Soy, you do great work man, and I know I’m a perfectionist so I’m sorry if I drove you to distraction to get it right, but get it right you did! To everyone who I sent an advanced reader copy to who read the book, gave me feedback, and helped get this launch off on the right foot. I not only loved hearing your thoughts on the finished product, but appreciate your willingness to help get the word out more than I can adequately express. And last, but not least, to my girls – Isabella, Nicoletta, and Julieanne. Your support and patience with my little hobby means more than anything and I really hope you all understand that in the end, more than anyone, I do this for you.
On the book… I began this story with a few things in mind. First of all, I wanted to write a story that was bigger than the game of golf itself, and small enough that everyone could relate to it. The game is a character in and of itself, I think, but it’s not the central one, and I hoped that whether or not you could relate it, you could still relate to this story because the struggles inside are things that, in one way or another, I think we can all relate to. Secondly, I wanted at the same time to write a story that golfers would love, relate to, and be able to even learn a thing or two at the same time while getting wrapped up in a good tale. I think the best books are ones I learn something from, and whether it’s something about golf, or about life, I hope there’s enough in here to go around. Third, and I’m sure I’m a bit naive here, but not unlike a lot of authors I suspect, I wanted to write a story that I could easily see being adapted to a screenplay, and optioned for film. I did this not because I expected that it ultimately would, but because it’s a project I’d like to take on some day and learn more about for my own curiosity’s sake. And if someone ever comes along that does fall in love with it and who wants to make that a reality? Well, let’s just say I’ll probably won’t stand in their way. 🙂
Now for the tips… I don’t want to give any spoilers here (I hate spoilers), but I think it only appropriate that I lift a few lines from the book.
First, the opening quote, and I can’t take credit here, as it comes from the immortal F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. Then you realize what’s changed is you.”
And second, from the final chapter, and Mack’s letter to Tyler…
“Life, like golf, is a journey, and one that is best played boldly. Never lay-up, play it safe, or leave an eagle putt short. Don’t judge each day by the number you put on the scorecard, but by how you shared that time and your experiences with others. Each round eventually must end, so make sure you’ve loved the playing of it and those with whom you’ve played to the fullest. For it’s not that the end comes too soon, it’s that too often we wait too long before we really start to play. Because when it’s all said and done, you’ll never know the feeling of pulling off that remarkable recovery if you only ever try for safe pars.”
And if you want to find out everything else that happens in between?… I guess you’ll just have to read the book. 😉 And to all of you who do, I really and truly want to hear back from you, and more than anything, would be eternally grateful for anything you’re willing to do to share my story. So if you like it, please lend it, gift it, share it, send it, or anything else you can think of so that others have the opportunity to be exposed to it. I don’t expect it to make me wealthy, but it’s made my life rich for being able to share it with all of you. Cheers everyone!