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Thursday
May192011

How I came to write a book

Prior to starting work on my novel Prodigal Child in the summer of 2001, I had toyed with the idea of writing my biography; although I never seriously considered doing that, who would be interested?

I had left the bicycle business completely in 1993, and the following year left Southern California and moved to Eugene, Oregon.

At the time I was completely disillusioned by the bike business after spending most of my life in some way connected to bicycles, my new passion was now songwriting and music.

The only reason I even briefly considered writing my life story was because I needed to write about my relationship with my father. It was not a good relationship and I still had issues in dealing with it. My father had died in 1996.

I had tried to reconcile with him while he was living but he could never accept that he had done anything wrong. He felt the harsh upbringing and punishment he handed down were for my own good, and the fact that I had been somewhat successful in my life, in his mind made him right.

It is difficult to forgive a person who cannot accept that they were wrong, and in addition, are not even seeking forgiveness. However, forgiveness is also necessary for the sake of the victim, often more so than that of the wrong doer.

Now my father had passed on, it was time to process it all and what better way to do it than to write about it. But my writing had to have a purpose, ending in a worthwhile product that others could read; at least be entertained, or better yet, relate to the story and be inspired or helped in some way.

Then one evening I watched a TV biography of Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon. As the program described Chapman’s dysfunctional upbringing and his relationship with his bullying abusive father, I realized they were describing my childhood.

I wondered how come Chapman ended up as John Lennon’s assassin, and I turned out alright? At 20 years old I had been sent to psychiatric hospitals and given Electro Convulsive Therapy. (ECT.) This was quite common in the 1950s in treating young adults who would not conform to what was considered the “Norm.” 

And so the idea for my novel was formed; it would be a “What if” story. What if my life had gone this way instead of the way it did. I had to make the main protagonist a sympathetic character; he could not be a complete lunatic like Mark David Chapman.

The story is about Eddie Conner. Eddie because my first name is Edward; Conner because it is a common Irish name. My father was born in Ireland and in writing about him I wanted to keep the story as authentic as possible.

Eddie Conner is a likeable character because deep inside he is a good person, but one who tends to make poor choices in life. Some who have read the book tell me they don’t know whether to feel sorry for Eddie, or just smack him.

Eddie was formally an artist and a sculptor, I thought a little easier for the general public to relate to than a Bicycle Framebuilder. Now Eddie is a songwriter, my song lyrics became part of the story, and the title “Prodigal Child” came from a song with that title.

I actually penned a good story. I do not say that because I wrote it, but because people who read it tell me that all the time. Just last week someone who had just finished the book was raving about it, which prompted me to write this piece.

I get comments like, “Why is this not a best seller?” Let me tell you what I have learned about the publishing business; it is a crap shoot. Some 288,000 new titles are published in the US each year; another 206,000 are published in the UK.

Unless a book gets listed in the New York Times, or the LA Times, or it gets blessed by Oprah Winfrey, it will not be a best seller. In the mean time “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, that was a huge best seller, has been listed as “The Worst Book of the Decade.”

Actually, Prodigal Child published in 2003 has been a moderate success as book sales go. It has sold over 2,000 copies, which most publishers consider acceptable. However, the thought that I spent a year and a half writing Prodigal Child to reach only 2,000 people is not very rewarding. I reach more people here on this blog.

I am not talking about monetary gain; it is no longer the issue. In fact if anyone reading this would like a signed hardcover copy, for $6.00 to cover postage and handling, email me at davesbikeblog[AT]gmail[DOT]com with a mailing address. You can send me the $6.00 after you receive it. That applies to the US, overseas will cost more, you can email me for an estimate.

Also you can help me give this book a new lease of life. Go to Amazon.com and click on “I’d like to read this book on Kindle.” Then do the same on Barnes&Noble.com, click on “Tell the publisher you want to read this in NOOKbook format.”

That’s it, no commitment to buy, nothing to put your name to, or forms to fill in. If you would do that for me I would be most grateful; I just want this book to have a wider audience. Thank you.

 

Addendum June 1, 2011

Thanks to all who requested a book. There is no expiration date on this offer, you may request a book at ant time. 

                       

Reader Comments (17)

Done!

Jan

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan

At least you wrote the book, Dave. I clicked the two clicks.

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Joe Comstock

Done.

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWlilliam Labigan

Dave, where does it say "i'd like to read this book on Kindle?" on the Amazon page/

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJW

JW,
Left side, under book cover picture. There is a little picture of a Kindle
Dave

May 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Was able to do Barnes and Noble, but my Amazon page only has "Share your own customer images" and "Search inside this book" under the picture of the book. Maybe because I'm from outside the USA?

Either way, best of luck with the book Dave!

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlemmiwinks

Ditto. unable to perform the Amazon functions. I am outsdie US too.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJW

Lemmiwinks and JW,
Obviously there is a problem, I appreciate your trying.
Thank you,
Dave

May 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Dave,

I'm happy to perform this small service for you. I hope it helps.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKurt

Was happy to click on both links. I had no issues on my end.

Best of luck!

- Zeke

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZeke

I have the book and its well worth reading. Wish I could write like Dave, Well done mate.

May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Crump

you are welcome Dave. I have read small parts on line

BTW, where did you learn to write so well?

May 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJW

JW,
Just as in framebuilding, it is how the finished product performs, not just how pretty it looks. In writing, it is what I am trying to say that is important, not how pretty the words look on paper.

When it comes to writing I am a “Weight Weenie;” use as few words possible. Writing becomes good in the “Re-write,” and a piece of writing is not finished when there is nothing more to add, but rather it is finished when there is nothing more to be taken away.

I would like to thank all those who have requested a book; there is no time limit on this offer, and it is open to anyone. If you are not an avid reader, you might know someone who is. Tell them about this book, or maybe request a copy to give as a gift. They will thank you for it.
Dave

May 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Done, and done.

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPapa Bear

Dave,

I have followed your blog for quite a while now and my biggest mistake was not ordering this book earlier. I love it.

Michael

May 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael B

looks like it's available on kindle now, nice work!!

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbolero

Dave,

I finished the book this summer, and I enjoyed it tremendously. The characters were well fleshed out, and Eddie's travails & adventures thru life resonated with me. I do agree I did feel like he needed a smack in the back of his head sometimes, but who hasn't made boneheaded decisions we later regretted in hindsight. Thanks for this blogpost & getting the book in my hands. Hopefully others will get a chance to enjoy your work.

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStelvio

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