Frequent MuseTracks guest William Simon is at it again. William describes how his recent release STREET HEAT found its way into the digital world of eBooks.
So without further ado, take it away, Will.
Long ago and far away (wow, almost twenty years ago!), I was determined to be a screenwriter for television and movies. Came close a couple of times, but never really broke through. I was determined, though, and, uh, well, maybe a tiny bit stubborn. (cough, cough)
I wrote and submitted a spec script for a network series that I personally really liked quite a bit. The characters were complicated and layered, there wasn’t always a happy ending, and the show tackled some serious issues before anyone else. While a lot of it was exaggerated and ‘Hollywooded’ up, it was a more than pleasant way to kill an hour once a week. (I am deliberately not naming the series for several reasons not worth going into.) I had landed an agent at the time, things were going nicely, when the show was abruptly yanked off the air with no explanation. To this day, I don’t know what happened, why it was cancelled, or just what went down.
Okay, this happens. Things like this happen a lot more than most people realize. The fact anything gets filmed, anything gets released, or a series actually makes it on the air is such an incredible long shot. To be a success, well, someone just won the lottery and got struck by lightning simultaneously.
Anyway, I really liked the script, and it eventually dawned on me it could easily become a novel, hopefully the start of a series. Of course, I couldn’t use the original series premise, so I started from scratch with a former police detective turned best-selling mystery novelist. (This was 1991, so any comparisons to a current TV series featuring a best-selling mystery writer who ‘really IS Ruggedly Handsome’ don’t count.) I wrote it the way I now saw it, and was quite pleased with how it turned out.
I sent it out to anyone and everyone I could think of. Got some terrific rejections along the lines of “I really loved this, but my partner/associate felt it lacked a certain ‘something’ that prevents us from extending an offer at this time.” Some editors responded with similar thoughts, others a form rejection. Eventually, I slapped it on a diskette (remember those?) and filed it because writers never throw anything out.
Time passed. The Y2K shenanigans came and went, the horrendous events of September 11, 2001 happened. Technology moved forward at an alarming pace, the world changed, and then something came along I couldn’t believe: the Kindle.
I’ll be the first to eat some crow on this. I didn’t believe the Kindle would work, I didn’t agree with the concept at all of eBooks. I want a BOOK book, not an electronic pad that I flick a finger on. I want to turn a page, I want the smell of a new book, I want the feel of it in my hands. Then I bought an iPad, and my world view shifted. Dramatically.
Some friends of mine tried publishing their work as an eBook. Some of them had terrific success, others sold slow and steady; kind of like Real Life Publishing. After thinking and cogitating and mulling, I decided ‘what the heck’, dug out the diskette (with WordStar documents, if you remember that one), and decided to pull the trigger… so to speak!
For better or for worse, damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, and a rousing cry of ‘Excelsior!’:
STREET HEAT, under the pseudonym ‘Will Graham’.
We’ll see what happens next….
William Simon is the owner and lead investigator of a licensed firm specializing in computer forensics and electronic evidence. His fiction has been published in the anthology MURDER BY MAGIC, “Suspense Magazine”, and the forthcoming THRILLER III from ITW, due Summer 2012.