The backstory is something that all writers are warned about. It’s death to lead into a new story with a recap of the protagonist/antagonist history, physical description, and motivation. Well, tough cookies. Gotta do it this time.
Back in the 1990s I read a lot of “Techno-Thriller” books. I am a voracious reader (when I’m not writing) and back then I hadn’t even considered being an author. I’d make the pilgrimage to Barnes & Noble every week and look for new books from my favorite authors. One of those authors was Michael DiMercurio. I even forgave him for the cheesy back-cover photo of him standing next to a torpedo. Why? Because he got it.
I’d spent three years riding submarines doing intelligence work, and his books all rang with authenticity. I had even been on the same submarine he was on, the U.S.S. Hammerhead. But I loved those books, and became a fan of the most dedicated sort.
Fast forward a dozen years and Barnes and Noble had moved all the military techno-thriller works in among the general fiction. They made it hard to find my favorite authors – had to walk the aisles and hope I spotted them. I missed new works from Michael, and figured he had moved on.
Then, about six years ago I was in a Facebook group for submarine types. They’d allowed me in even though I had never qualified as a submariner. That didn’t last, and eventually I had to leave the group. But during that time I met Michael on-line and we became friends. He was gracious enough to read Assault on Saint Agnes and give me some very good guidance on my writing career. He was kind about it, funny as can be, and kind of a curmudgeon. And, as is often the case of veterans, the fact that we didn’t know each other personally didn’t diminish the bond of brotherhood.
Once I was published, I started nagging him to put his books up on Kindle, as there was no doubt a market for them. He’d regained the rights as they’d fallen out of publication. He did just that, and with the good offices of Crossroad Press, he was back on the charts.
I next nagged him to do audio books. He’s brilliant, and I sent him a document on what he needed to do to make it work. A couple of weeks later he said it was too much like work, and would I like to do the books?
That moment I knew things were good. Now, several books later, my monthly revenues from Audible pay for all of the kids I sponsor overseas. There is a tangible benefit for my work and it impacts the lives of many others.
This past weekend, Michael flew to Saint Paul to work on recording parts of the latest book, EMERGENCY DEEP. We finished up after a couple of marathon days, and adjourned to the dive bar mentioned in the previous blog. In the meantime, my wife had a chance to meet the guy who has kept me up late and gotten me up early to work on the recordings. Michael also stole Chewy’s heart, and now the dog is loyal to him as a result of all the cookies Michael fed him this weekend. It will take me another week to wean the dog from the diet of attention and biscuits he was showered with the past three days.
Fun. Just plain fun. We had some fans show up, talked about writing, conspiracy theories, the afterlife, faith, and good whiskey.
Sunday, we qc’d some of the final recording files. Michael went back home and I’ve just got about 5 minutes of recording and 3 hours of editing left and we can ship it off to the publisher. I think it sounds great, and DiMercurio did an excellent job for a first-timer.
Thank you, Michael, for coming to town to do this. It’s not often that you get to meet a virtual friend, especially when it’s someone you greatly admire.
I look forward to some new books, and one more audio book – at the moment – from his pen.
So, set aside some money and I’ll let you know when EMERGENCY DEEP is ready for purchase!