THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Part II: Woman Writes as a Man Who Hung with the Mob

Check out Part I further down the page to see how this crazy partnership began.

Two years into writing, Slick told me to send out the manuscript to was good enough. I knew it wasn't, but didn't want to argue so I sent it to about 20 litereary agents, the guys who know the publishers that like this sort of material. After about a month, a literary agent said he wanted to see some sample chapters. (They rarely ask to see the entire manuscript.) Oh boy, I thought. We're in business. So I sent along the first 3 chapters. (The first 3 let them know if you can hook the reader and keep them interested.)

Six months went by and I almost forgot about the chapters. Then a standard rejection letter appeared from the same literary agent. At the bottom were penned the words: "Great idea but writing not up to industry standard." I put the "cake" back in the oven to cook some more.

When I didn't think I could make it any better, I knew I was done. That was 9 years after I started writing. I realized it had to be damn good. Otherwise, no publisher would take a risk with an unknown author.

Turned out that Slick knew Tony Montana who knew a respected author and mob expert by the name of Ed Becker. Ed was so excited over the Thief! manuscript, he sent it off to his good friend Lyle Stuart, publisher of Barricade Books. Lyle read the manuscipt, loved the writing and offered Slick and me a publishing contract. He said it would need minimal editing, music to my ears. As they say, the rest is history.

A famous author whose name I forget said:

"If you're only writing for the money, you will grow bitter before you grow rich."

You better believe it! Of the 200,000 new books that hit the market yearly (450-500 per day), less than 1/10 of 1% of all those authors make it big. That's why they appear on Oprah and David Letterman because they are so RARE!

Sales of Thief! are brisk mostly because Slick, Tony Montana and I work like hell to market the book. Yeah, it's different from the old days when publishers had the money and staff to promote their books. Now, marketing is up to the author.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I'll be sure to answer.

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