Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Life of My First Book. From Breaking the Circle to Soul Born


From Breaking the Circle to Soul Born.

What a trip. How many mistakes can be made with one book? Many. Too many.

I’ve told the story of how I was taken advantage of before. This is not that story. This is a timeline of how my first book came to be and how it arrived at where it is now.

When I was in college in 1997-1998, I was writing on the weekends. Mainly Sunday night after my girlfriend went home. I wrote for fun, and I wrote as a catharsis. But soon realized it was the only artistic outlet that really allowed me to get what I had in my head out onto paper.

One day, I decided to try and write a book. To actually turn my “story” into something.



1997-1998 - I started writing a “story.”

1999- I realized I had something. I had a book. I WROTE A BOOK! I called it BREAKING THE CIRCLE.

1999- I went to the local Barnes and Nobles book store and found one of those Literary Agent guides. I start sending out SNAIL mail submission packages with a S.A.S.E inside. (click here for what a S.A.S.E is, if you don’t know.)

1999-2000 - After six months to a year, some of my S.A.S.Es came back with form letter rejections.  Some post card rejections were sent to me as well. Nothing like a postcard from an agent/publisher with  only the word, “Pass” written on it. No luck.

2000 - An “agent” asks me to pay him X amount of dollars to read my book. I do. He later calls me on the phone and tells me everything I want to hear. I didn’t know any better, but I was ripped off/scammed. (first mistake)

**Now comes a dark time in my writing history, a part of my life I have mentioned before in many interviews. I’m not going to go into the painful detail again, but I was taken advantage of big time. I was lied to and ripped off. Screwed royally. In a blink, I had spent close to 5K and Breaking the Circle was self published at Xlibris (with no edits).

2002 - I was tricked into self publishing BREAKING THE CIRCLE. (second mistake)

2003 - I soon realize I made a dire mistake. But I accept it and try to make the best of it. I work hard and line up book store signings. I manage to get my book on the shelves of major sellers… my hard work pays off and I am chosen to represent Barnes and Nobles Jekintown, PA as their pick for best new local author of the year at a huge New Author Event.

2004 - I start writing the sequel to Breaking the Circle.

2005 - The sequel to Breaking the Circle is finished it is first called: A PROPHECY UNFULLFILLED.

2005 - I meet Jonathan Maberry in a chance encounter at Jekintown, PA Barnes and Nobles. We talk for about an hour inside and outside the store.  I learn a lot.

2006 - I rewrite and change A PROPHECY UNFULLFILLED to THE THREE SHADES OF GREY. (yes, in 2006 that was my title!)

2007 - While seeking help for my writing career, I bump into Jonathan Maberry again. Now he’s in charge of the writer’s house I had gone to before. He’s cleaned the place up and turned it legit. He offers me some of the best advice of my life. I join his writers group. Shortly afterwards, I sell my first short story and become a full member of the HWA. (horror.org) Maberry becomes my mentor.

2007- I pull Breaking the Circle from Xlibris and buy up some of the copies online. (yuck)

2007 - Following Maberry’s advice I start to re-write Breaking the Circle. I change the names, the places, the plot…almost the whole damn book. It was reborn… and it becomes SOUL BORN.

2007 - I start sending out queries again. Hard core.

2007 - I start writing the third book in the series. I call it: THE DEAD TOMORROW.

2008 - Still sending out queries like a mad man.

2009 - I receive a partial and then full request for SOUL BORN by Dark Quest Books.

2009 - By the end of the year, I have signed a contract to publish SOUL BORN with Dark Quest Books.

2010 - One year later… With a publication date looming, SOUL BORN has yet to be edited by Dark Quest Books. I’m panicked. They've lost track of their editor. Turns out he/she was in the hospital. Edit Job Epic FAIL! (third mistake)

2010 - Dan Dos Santos paints the cover of SOUL BORN after I commission him directly. It’s the dawn of a lifelong friendship!

2010- November. SOUL BORN is released and appears on Amazon.com and other online sellers.

2010 - THE THREE SHADES OF GREY becomes BLOOD DIVIDED.

2011- Dan Dos Santos paints the cover of BLOOD DIVIDED. I nearly have a heart attack, it’s THAT awesome!

2011 - December - BLOOD DIVIDED is released on Amazon.com and other online sellers.

2012 - Blood Divided is released in kindle format, but my publisher makes a major mistake and publishes an early unedited draft. I nearly have another heart attack. (another mistake; not mine!)
2013 - THE DEAD TOMORROW is re-written, doubled in length and becomes FLESH ENDED.

2014 - After some great reviews for both books, and some decent sales, I decide it’s time to fix these books proper. The contracts come to an end and I request the rights back. (it’s time to fix those mistakes)

2014 - March. The rights to the Soul Born Saga return to me.

2014 - Soul Born is re-edited. Typos and errors are fixed. Bad POV shifts are removed. I clean up passiveness and I add some internal thought for the main characters, as well. Why? Because a few of my most trusted readers asked me to. Soul Born is in the hands of my editor now. She’s re-reading it and checking the work I did. She’s making sure it’s mo-better. J

FUTURE - SOUL BORN: Re-Born edition will be released as soon as it’s ready.

In conclusion:

I know SOUL BORN will never be a 10. It was written SOOOOO long ago. It was my first book. But I want to take this 6 and make it an 8. I want to do this for myself and for my fans. I want the people who have supported me to see what the story was always meant to be. That is why I requested the rights back. So I could re-edit it; not re-write it. Re-writing it would make it a whole new book (again). I have no intentions of that. That would be going backward, not forward.

I have grown as a writer. In 2013, I reached a new level. (leveled up for you gamers out there.) I don’t want to make Soul Born something it wasn’t meant to be. I just want it to reach its fullest potential.

So there you go. The life of my first book. From beginning to now. A long road, right?

But hey… since Soul Born, I have written five more books. And I’m currently writing a sixth and seventh.  Soon, I hope to be defined as an author by two new series.  Oh, and I swear to it, I swear by the great powers of the universe, that one of those new series will be published by a big time publisher.

WRITE MAKES MIGHT!

Kevin James Breaux

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