Well I haven’t had a blog like this in awhile soooo, I figure it is long due.
Most of you know, well at least you know if you actually take the time to read the blogs I write and the tags that I have a book I did some time ago. The working title is The Keystone Kid. It is actually an autobiography and I have been making it available for free as of late. Truth is, I wrote the book to relieve some of the pain of growing up. I was encouraged to journal my thoughts, write the book by a counselor I was seeing.
After the initial draft, I had several people help me with edits. I have always accepted there are story tellers, writers, readers, editors and so forth. I am more of a story teller, and believe, or at least have been told I tell a pretty good story. I tell stories from the perspective of trying to put my thoughts on paper. Some of those are allegorical, some are true, some involve teaching and some are, well some are just relief and fun.
After doing the initial draft of The Keystone Kid a number of years ago, I tried, well sort of tried, to get it checked out by publishers and agents. I sent it to 3 agents, all stating they liked it, one was interested in working it but with some revisions. At the time I didn’t like the ideas, and really didn’t follow through. I also sent the book to 2 publishers, thinking why not see what happens. Well for anyone who has ever written and sought publication, you know you have to make more of an effort than this.
That was some years ago, and until recently with the advent of The Virtual Pew I hadn’t really thought much about working the book. I realized after getting The Virtual Pew started, the book could be a great adjunct to ministry opportunities. It was after all, my life, it was the story I had shared with thousands in the past. I begin making minimal contact to a few folks regarding publication. There was also an effort to make it available for free via e-book form. Well to say the least, the response has been more than encouraging. I have heard all kinds of great compliments and at the same time had to pray to ask God to keep me from having itchy ears. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy the things I was hearing, but I really didn’t want to be let down. If you have read my story, you know how much of an obstacle being let down in life has been for me. True I serve and worship a living God, but that don’t change the reality of my experiences.
I was recently speaking to an editor about several things, and just happened to mention my book. There really was no intent, just that I was trying to make a point that I I could tell a decent story. That particular editor wanted to see my book, so I emailed it to her. In less than 24 hours she had read the entire 700+ page manuscript, and called me as soon as she was done. This is whereI had to be careful about the itchy ears, after all, I was somewhat familiar with how the publishing business worked. I knew that most of the time there were things like advances and payment involved for services offered.
Some have accused me of being prideful, I guess those folks really don’t know me, if they did they would know how untrue this is. The fact is I am not ashamed about telling folks what I think, and in some regards making the effort to promote the ministry I am involved in, or the cause of Christ. I worked for years in the music business and I understand the need to have others do this for you, but you have to pay them. It is amazing though, people do this all of the time without realizing it, they do it in a job interview, they do it in other situations, yet, let someone involved in “ministry” do it and all of a sudden accusations are thrown out. It is one of those things that frankly confuses me, and in all honesty shows me some of the hypocrisy and lack of understanding from those centered in “Christianize.”
The fact is, I have been hearing great things from those that have read my book. Now I get excited about that, not because of any other reason than I know God is at work, using my past, to help people. If God can be glorified from the difficulties I went through, and if others can be helped, I’ll admit, I get excited about that. Of course those who have heard or seen me speak, know my story, know the time I take with people. They know how emotional I get when I share my story, not for what I have done, but what God has done for me.
In an almost Old Testament style, a miracle happened the other day. Someone who knows something about publishing, editing, and the whole bit read my book. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just anybody, it was somebody that has a common vision and understanding of literature I do, and again, is involved in this field. One that appreciates great story, but has little respect for, well I don’t know what else to call it, but little respect for crap.
Unfortunately, so much of what is published now is crap! I read a lot, try to read at least one book a week. Unfortunately within Christianity, we have lost the Flannery O’Connor’s. Sure we have the Ted Dekkers, Creston Mapes’ Renee Gutteridge’s, Tim Downs and a few others, but they are few and far between. Thankfully there are more of them, but it almost seems that a person can't be real with who they are to those who aren't Christians, or we sugar coat things and say things like, "Praise Jesus, I just broke my arm." (I actually heard someone say this once.) But the truth is we aren't real. As a result we stay confused as to why we aren't more succesful in sharing the Gospel.
The person reading my book believed in it a great deal. Between her and some others as of recent I have had some great things. Some have called it “A Christian Classic,” “The next Cross & the Switchblade,” “A story for our generation.” “A story that I can finally relate to,” “I couldn’t put it down until I was finished,” “The best Christian book I have read,” “One of the most exciting books I have ever read,” “This book has everything, I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t put it down,” and so much more. Now is any of this true? Shucks I don’t know, I would like to think so but I’m not the one to make that judgment. Thankfully there were others that have been touched by it and found something positive about it. Here is what I do know. I was a little critical on the offer for help and all this person was about to give me. I expected a offer to help for a editing and clean up fee. These are standard fees in the industry, some are legit, and others are rip offs. However, the person reading it and excited about it, stated they are willing to do the edits, rewrites and more for an portion of the advance once the book is signed. In other words, they believed in the book so much that they believe the book will sell and will be able to get an advance. She stated she wouldn’t expect any of the royalties on the book just a portion of the advance. Now me being me, I believe in doing what is right. I stated that if she helped and was willing to make that offer, she could have a co-writing credit on the cover, a portion of the advance if one happened, and a percentage of the royalties if anything like that came about.
She was as excited about the book and potential as I am, and the catch is, she knows a lot more about these types of things than I. My hope, and prayer, is not that the book would make me money, although that would be nice. My hope and prayer is the book would be used to help people whom have gone through similar situations as I. I know from telling my story, I have been told by hundreds how it helped. I sincerely pray God use the story to touch the lives of others.
I expect within the next 3-4 weeks it is possible a complete edit and fix is ready to go. Pray God opens doors and people would be touched. At least for now, I still have advance e-book, prior to the final edit and submissions I can provide for the asking. Once the edits are complete, and the book is shopped, this offer won’t be available.
We are looking for a couple more people in the publishing world to look at The Keystone Kid, and give some help and ideas. If you know someone who can do that, and/or someone willing to be a part of the project, then I would appreciate your help. I don’t know much about the publishing world but I realize there are MySpacers and others who do. This is a ministry of love, wanting and desiring to be above all, ministry.
I value your prayers, and thoughts. If wanting the advance pre edit edition of The Keystone Kid for review and reading, just let me know by sending me your email. I’ll get it to you, of course with no charge or no fee. The book has already begin a rewrite and edits so I suspect the final version will be much better than the original version I am making available.
Thanks and know that God is good, even for a dumb ol street kid like me, God has done marvelous things.
Blessings and love,
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Or you van give on line via Pay Pal at: http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html
To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.