OT: My First Book

Submitted by GratefulBlue on August 23rd, 2015 at 1:30 PM

I've self-published my first book for Kindle. It's a thriller titled Founders' Keeper. Cover and synopsis are below.

The first 30 days are critical to its success or failure. If you enjoy these types of books, I'd appreciate the support from fellow UM grads/fans. Thanks for your help.

Four are dead in five days, including a young U.S. senator. The methods of execution are varied and horrific, and the messages left behind point to a serial killer obsessed with the United States Constitution and the nation's Founding Fathers. 

The FBI assigns its best man to the investigation. But while Special Agent David Yerxa chases those responsible for the murders, his own demons are chasing him. 

With the help of his father - semi-retired FBI legend Martin Yerxa - David must wrestle with ghosts, both past and present, in order to untangle the murderer's motives, solve a mystery, and prevent a national catastrophe. 




August 23rd, 2015 at 1:39 PM ^

Completing a novel is one of those things on so many people's bucket lists (including mine), but so few people have the discipline that it takes to take a creative vision and actually see it through to a final product. I hope you find success. Actually, just completing it and putting it out there is a success, anything else is just a bonus.

For the rest of us, there's this:



August 23rd, 2015 at 2:30 PM ^

I'm a voracious reader of Amazon eBooks (200+ per year), especially these types of action novels. I think Amazon does a great job affording new authors an opportunity to get started, and I've discovered many new good writers starting out as you are. Founders' Keeper is already downloaded to my Kindle and is next in the reading queue. Haven't read it as yet, obviously, but based on the reviews already out there, it seemed like a no-brainer to buy.

Best of luck on your writing career, and +1 for bringing a new book to my attention.


August 23rd, 2015 at 2:36 PM ^

Sounds like a great plot. How did you come up with it? I'm always fascinated with (and envious of) how creative writers (be it TV, film, or novel) are able to pull this stuff out of thin air.


August 23rd, 2015 at 2:57 PM ^

I've always been interested in U.S. history, and I thought it'd be fun to weave some of that history into this genre. I like books that teach me something, even if it's just a beach read. So I started with the idea of a Constitution/Founder-obsessed killer, and went from there. Several years and many, many re-writes later, here we are.


August 23rd, 2015 at 3:35 PM ^

If you have ever watched "The Civil War" by Ken Burns you might have noticed the blind elderly black women reciting poety. That's Daisy Turner, a poet. Her father--Alexander Turner--escaped from slavery during the war, joined a Federal unit as a cook and eventually returned to his old plantation where he killed his former overseer. After the war he moved to Vermont where he had a farm.

To me this is a great basis for a story. Take the basics of Turner's story and develop it into a parable on slavery and the natural vengeance felt by the freedman. 

Slavery is a very much underutilized topic in American literature. I think that is a crying shame. (So too is are Reconstruction and Redemption eras)


Bando Calrissian

August 23rd, 2015 at 3:57 PM ^

If you want a good primer on Reconstruction, this is pretty much the standard synthesis text:


And then if you really want to have your mind absolutely blown about slavery and Reconstruction, move on to this:



August 23rd, 2015 at 4:01 PM ^

The re-assertion of white supremacy in the South is of great significance to us today. Besides the lynchings there were massacres, the outlawing of black ownership of guns, pole taxes, etc.\

American history in regards to blacks often is taught in a way that jumps from the Civil War to Civil Rights without discussing much the 90 years in between. 

L'Carpetron Do…

August 24th, 2015 at 2:28 PM ^

Good for you man.  Do you live in DC?  I belong to a writers' group here and if you're interested I can bring you into it...

I'm working on a satirical novel set on Capitol Hill and in the halls of power.  

Good luck, I hope everything works out - I'll have to get a copy!  Question: Did you try to go through   the traditional publishing process for your book?  I understand that the pitch/query process is just as exhausting as actually writing the book.  But, I'm just wondering how it compares, and the pros and cons of traditional publishing vs Amazon self-publishing.  But, once again - congrats!


August 24th, 2015 at 3:28 PM ^

I lived in DC back in 2009-10, but I've been in Philly since. Otherwise I'd love to join up.

And to answer your second Q, yes I did try the traditional route. It's a very long, very arduous process, but certainly worth it if it pays off. After 18 months of querying agents, I was able to secure representation at a big NYC firm. While my agent said he was optimistic about my book's chances, the big publishers to whom we submitted the manuscript (Random House, Little Brown, etc.) said complimentary things but ultimately passed.  

It's frustrating to think I could have had this book up on Kindle two years ago, but that's life. You hear about bestselling authors who struggled for years to break through, so I'm just going to keep at it and hope my day will come. 

L'Carpetron Do…

August 24th, 2015 at 5:22 PM ^

Sorry you had to struggle with so much nonsense from the big publishers.  But, its out and hopefully things will start rolling for you now.

Oddly enough, I may be moving from DC to Philly in the next few weeks.  My girlfriend just moved up there and once I find a job I'll be up there too.  I'll have to holler at you about the biz. Hopefully you'll be such a Big Deal by then, you won't have time to talk!

Congrats again and good luck! 

BOX House

August 23rd, 2015 at 3:07 PM ^

Best of luck to you. I am working on a first novel of my own right now and I've started considering the self-publishing route. It's a scary prospect but a likely reality of the current publishing economy. That said, that's a tremendous accomplishment to get it finished and finally published. I envy you in that regard. Can I ask which self-publishing services you used, if any?


August 23rd, 2015 at 3:24 PM ^

If you're talking about formatting services and that sort of thing, I handled everything myself, which was a huge time committment and probably not worth it. (I've since learned that I could have hired someone to format my manuscript for about $75, which would have saved me many days of work.)

If you want to learn all about self-publishing, the "writer's cafe" section of Kindle Boards is a phenomenal resource. Also, my email address is on my author site. Please get in touch and put MGoBlog in your subject line. I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about this or publishing traditionally. 

Victor Valiant

August 23rd, 2015 at 3:17 PM ^

I typically only read non-fiction but this looks interesting. If I decide to hit up some fiction I will definitely buy this. Good luck with the book. My hats off to you for the cool accomplishment.

late night BTB

August 23rd, 2015 at 3:52 PM ^

Congrats but maybe im in the minority here, but is this going to become a place where we get spammed? Last couple weeks we've had this, the lighted helmets, some shady cousin neighbor pedophile case asking for money, etc.
Go to reddit to push your pet products please.

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August 23rd, 2015 at 4:54 PM ^

Very cool! I will check it out.

My own first novel, published last winter, is here.

Here's the blurb:

Silas Brace doesn't expect any trouble ferrying an archeologist's crates down India's Malabar coast. As an ex-USAF pararescue jumper, he's seen enough trouble. His daughter has, too, and he's hoping that this trip will give her time to heal. 

When the first helicopter appears on the horizon, he knows this job is nothing like what he expected. Commandos storm his boat, simultaneous terrorist attacks are launched across the globe, and he's separated from his daughter. While she runs for her life through the backwaters of Kerala, Silas fights a desperate battle to recover an artifact that may change the course of human history: the Sword of the Magi. 



August 23rd, 2015 at 7:43 PM ^

Awesome. Congrats. I am an aspiring novelist and this is impressive.

Meanwhile someone on RCMB just drew a picture of a penis on a bathroom stall.

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