Tag Archives: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

Author Of The Week!

20 May
To Oprah: So glad you liked the book. Sorry, I already have a gf. Love, Nav

To Oprah: So glad you liked the book. Sorry, I already have a gf. Love, Nav

Well, it’s been an exciting last few days. There was the first confirmed sighting of The Mirror. An unnamed lady who is dear to me purchased three paperback copies at the FriesenPress online book store. I wasn’t aware that  the book arrived only a few days later–I still haven’t received my promotional copies yet. Imagine my surprise when she came over to visit Saturday evening, when I was at my parents’ home.

The book looks even better than I had dared hope. The red-on-white-with-black looks very striking. For those of you who, like me, prefer a real paper book to an e-book, it was a sublime moment when I first held a copy. Although I had read the words that I’ve written many times over on a computer screen, seeing them in physical print for the first time made it seem real. Electrons are so fleeting and ethereal; a physical book can last a minor eternity.

To add to the good news, the delightful Tam over at TravellingBookJunkie has honoured me as her Author of the Week and has given The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood a 4-Star book review –check out the links and support Tam for supporting The Mirror. Tam writes some intriguing travel posts about fascinating destinations, which typically include photos that magically transport you to these exotic locations.

I suppose I shall have to get myself organized, and try to get a blogging book tour scheduled. Would anyone be interested in writing their own book review about The Mirror, or in hosting an author interview like the one at TravellingBookJunkie or the one that KG did? I’d probably look to schedule one or two of these a week, to spread them out over the summer. No one would be rushed, and I’d be happy to help with the writing.

Any takers?

How To Write A Book That Malcolm Gladwell Would Be Proud To Have Written

31 Mar
My child is soon to leave home

“The Mirror” – Table of Contents

When I set out to write what will become The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood, I had certain goals in mind. I wanted to introduce a new gender-based way of interpreting narcissism theory. I wanted to show how this explained literally EVERYTHING about hard core feminism. I wanted to expose the fundamentally biased and malevolent feminist family “justice” system–The Matriarchy–, how it acts to harm children and men, and, more importantly, why it does so. I wanted to expose the scandal that was my divorce case, and the government cover up that ensued. I wanted my experience to be a catalyst for positive change.

I had one major advantage in all of this: I had never written a book before.

My inexperience permitted me to approach the problem of writing to achieve my goals with a fresh and innovative mind. I needed The Mirror to be a gripping read for as many people as possible, so that the book would be commercially successful and thus influence public opinion to a meaningful degree. Since the book would be introducing fascinating new concepts and exploring how these apply to society, I immediately thought of best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. I thoroughly enjoyed his thought-provoking books.

What I needed to do was write a book that Mr. Gladwell would be proud to have written.

Author Malcolm Gladwell. Photo Credit: Kris Krüg, wikipedia.org

Author Malcolm Gladwell. Photo Credit: Kris Krüg, wikipedia.org

No small order for a first time author, obviously. To achieve such a lofty aim, I employed test (or beta) readers. Have someone read the manuscript, then consider their comments. I had no ego investment in the book; I just wanted it to be the book that it needed to be. I let the test readers know that there were no expectations, and that negative feedback was at least as helpful as positive feedback, if not more so. I’d consider a reader’s thoughts, make adjustments as necessary to things like tone and controversial statements, and then find another test reader. Repeat.

The Manuscript

The Manuscript

I knew The Mirror was something special when my 1st test reader, an old high school buddy, stayed up reading until 02:45 a.m. to finish it and then emailed me his preliminary thoughts. It’s been highly refined in the numerous iterations of the test reader cycle since then.

Have I written a book that Malcolm Gladwell will admire? Time will tell, I suppose. Here are the test reader comments; what do you think?

* * * * *

Test Reader Feedback [NOTE: Significant majority are women]

“I spent the past weekend with your book. It is excellent: your patient and blow-by-blow recounting of the hell you endured makes for a very gripping reading experience.” Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, Ontario, Canada

Absolutely love Book One. You captured my interest, my support and my heart.” S.F., U.S.A.

“In the beginning I felt as though I was reading “This Boys Life: A Memoir” written by Tobias Wolff, in addition to reading Follett or Le Carré filled with conflict and intrigue. I was on the edge of my futon. I will admit, this is my second reading. I want to buy it when published, you just have to autograph it so the book can sit in my book case along with my hard copy of my favorite authors. Definitely an awesome and honest story. It is terribly hard to believe the circumstances and that there are women out there like that “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind. Thank you for letting me read your story.” J.M., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

I really, really enjoyed it! It was so real and personal that it actually made me cry at times. Most of the time it was empathy, sometimes sympathy… I truly enjoyed reading this. I feel as if you were talking to me over coffee at times and the read was in person. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I understand and respect you as if I did. Thank you so much!” J.C., Ontario, Canada

“I have just finished the book….to be quite honest, it’s left me speechless. I have been through a range of emotions, realizations, and was especially challenged by the last few pages regarding the rejection of ‘feminism’ as defined by Michael. What a story…It made me think about my own upbringing and how the qualities of narcissism show up differently within the masculine and feminine paradigms (as Michael suggests). Feminist or not, this book is a page-turner.” J.K., U.S.A.

“The Mirror is eloquent and it’s human. You told your story with passion, with confidence and with conviction. You’ve done brilliantly at keeping it coherent and you’ve paced it out as well as any good work of fiction I’ve ever read. Your writing style is that of a true storyteller, and it was only on very rare occasions as I read that I didn’t feel you were sitting beside me, telling of the joys and the trials, the triumphs and the frustrations. I felt your losses and your significant wins, few and far between as they may have been. You should be very proud of your work… it is awesome.” L.G.H., Ontario, Canada

The Mirror is every parent’s worst nightmare—your children stolen from your life by a vindictive ex and a corrupt, incompetent and unjust system. Sit up and take notice, because this compelling and heartbreaking story will continue to happen to others until an outraged public demands social change.” K.H., Ontario, Canada

“I honestly struggled to keep this short, because I cannot speak highly enough of the book, and how and why it was written–and what reading it instilled in me. It was an intriguing, honest and at times humorous telling of the devastating injustice inflicted on one man. I was drawn intellectually and emotionally into the story of a father whose three children were alienated from him WITH the help of the judicial systems in place in Canada. I felt present with him through each encounter, unable to stop reading. Seeing and feeling not only his pain – but the indisputable truth he conveys with evidence to back up his words – caused me to rethink various aspects of my views on society as a whole. A must read for everyone who wishes for a fairer and better world.” B.B., U.K.

“I sat down intending to read the first twenty or so pages and was became so engrossed in the details that mirrored much of my own experience – I read it right to the end in one sitting. The Mirror reveals exposes a broken system that has punished many for no good reason.” B.C., Ontario, Canada

I am so grateful you wrote this book, on so many levels. You just nailed it all so perfectly. My mother was quite a narcissist. She took me from my father when I was 3, allegedly to protect me. I never could quite figure out, protect me from what? Thanks to your book, I think I get it now. Thank you so much for letting me read your book. It was powerful. I’m quite impressed.” G.G., Seattle WA, U.S.A.

“With respect to the book, if I may say so, it has been very well structured and your dry humor runs throughout. As you had mentioned at the end, it sure is an ordeal to go through it again to put it down, but you have done a very good job of it to have it neatly segregated… I was wondering, ‘how is he going to handle the aftermath of this tornado once it gets published and recognized?’ Feminists all over are going to be so over him. And I got the answer at the last chapter. ‘Damn them,’ you say. I say the same.” K.G., India

“Just finished your book! Your passion for the dire need of the courts to return to the unfeminized Rule of Law is palpable and well-defined.Your personal experience will resonate with millions of men, and not just betrayed fathers, but any man who has been unfairly subjected to any influential female “authority” figure’s misguided decision-making process, whether she be part the judiciary, business community, government, academia, military, organized religion or politics. They will suddenly realize that it was not just bad luck that produced their negative outcomes, but a full-blown concerted conspiracy to denigrate them for being men.” K.Q.D., U.S.A.

I found your book to be extremely interesting and very well written. You’ve also done your research, so it’s very well quoted, which I think is a plus for a book like yours. It is essential to read the experience of a man, so your book needs to be out there, needs to be read. Maybe it will help to make a difference and to help the system change.” V.B., Ontario, Canada

Never have I seen the pain and horror resulting from the gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against fathers (and men in general) in today’s society so clearly portrayed. ‘The Mirror’ is a rare, inside look at just how impotent the modern-day father is rendered by the current justice systems of North America. It exposes the insidious underbelly of feminism in a raw, unapologetic account of one man’s struggle to save his children, and his refusal to give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.” – A. Taylor, VA, U.S.A.

You weren’t kidding when you said some people couldn’t put it down. I was up until 2:00 am last night reading, and then I started again after the kids went to school this morning. I found myself drawn in by your story, but also by all of the research you included. I am astounded by everything that has happened to you and your children; injustice doesn’t even begin to describe it. If this was 30 years ago, I could see it happening. But in this day and age? I find your story simply appalling. I hope, one day, your children will be able to see through their mother. No child deserves to be without a loving father, and no loving father deserves to be without his children. Looking forward to Book Two.” CA, BC, Canada

“I have just finished reading your book! After 43 years in an unhappy marriage, I feel so lifted up to know that I am not alone. One must always see the problems of others to realize that we do have things to be grateful for. All the best to you, with kudos for your wonderful book.” I.L., Ottawa ON, Canada

Book Status Update

13 Dec
(c) 2013 The Author, All Rights Reserved. Non-profit re-blogging of entire post permitted.

(c) 2013 The Author, All Rights Reserved. Non-profit re-blogging of entire post permitted.

I had an unexpected email from my friesenpress.com account manager today. It’s her job to babysit we temperamental creative author types. (Great gal if she puts up with the likes of me.) I’m not really that temperamental; I just don’t want to spoil the stereotype for the rest of the writers.

Here’s what it said:

Hi Michael,

The assessment is done and we’re just about ready to move forward to the layout, yay! I just need to talk to you really quickly about the images that were in the text. The designer removed them and added the image tags where they’re supposed to go, I just need you to send them to me as jpegs. Once I have that we’ll start the layout process.

Happy Friday the 13th!

And in a follow-up email, she just added:

As of today, your manuscript is in our layout queue. You will receive the first proof of your book in four to six weeks.

For those bloggers who aspire to write and publish a book, here’s the rough big-picture view of what I’ve experienced:

1. Research. A couple of years’ worth, in my spare time.

2. After a few false starts regarding the title and primary theme (the title had to be symbolic of the primary theme, in my mind), I finally nailed it. Only I didn’t really, as I later went with Plan B as a result of test reader feedback. But it was good enough to start writing.

3. I wrote a book proposal. Essential if you’re looking to bag a traditional publisher, also very important to discipline your thinking before writing the first draft if you’re not. I think I will do a future series of posts as to what I actually came up with for a book proposal, as I am certain this will be of interest to many people.

4. Since I couldn’t find an agent anywhere near Ottawa Canada, and could not get a publisher interested, I started looking at self-publishing. I should point out that a national newspaper columnist pitched my proposal to a principal at a major Canadian publisher, to no avail.

5. While this was happening, I was writing the first draft of the manuscript.

6. I decided to go with FriesenPress.com. They weren’t the cheapest, but they offered good value and a fair bit of professional services. Plus they were print on demand, do I didn’t have to buy the books ahead of time, have boxes of them in the basement, and have to stuff envelopes and do my own sales, etc. I do have to do my own marketing, but FriesenPress will track my sales for me and issue me a quarterly check, assuming it sells.

7. As I’ve previously indicated, I had at least a dozen very helpful test readers. Each round of feedback gave me things to consider and ways to refine the manuscript. I took a military attitude and had no ego investment – it was all about “mission success.” Thus, people finding typos, grammar errors, catching weak or awkward sentences, etc. was not an offensive thing, but a good thing. The more they found, the better.

8. As part of my FriensenPress package, I had an editorial assessment. The big thing here was the recommendation that I have a defamation lawyer review the manuscript. This was good advice, although I did not enjoy the ensuing $3,500 lawyer bill!

9. The lawyer recommended that I not use people’s real names, as Canada apparently has weak protection for freedom of speech/expression. This upset me at first, as I wanted certain malefactors to be held accountable for their actions. However, in retrospect, this strengthened the manuscript, as it permitted me to be “creative” in coming up with appropriate pseudonyms for these people. Readers will better appreciate the essential nature of these people, and have a number of chuckles along the way.

10. As part of my FriesenPackage, I had a round of professional copy editing. While helpful, I found at least three of the test readers to have been even more helpful in terms of proof reading and constructive criticisms. Note to wordpressers: many of you, especially as a collective, are incredibly capable in this regard. You are to be treasured in this.

11. I’ve been reading up on how to self-market books, just to get the basics. Might be tough for me a little bit, as I don’t really like facebook, and I don’t have a twitter account. I will have three hours of expert marketing coaching from FriesenPress.com as part of my “all-inclusive” package (which didn’t include the lawyer).

11. I recently submitted the edited and approved manuscript to my account manager. Always will be that lingering self-doubt as to whether or not the last typo was caught. At some point, though, make the call and forge ahead!

12. And now today and the call for the jpegs files. There are only three of them. The one shown above is the most complicated of the three, and it is rather simple. It takes the result of published, peer-reviewed research on there being two forms of narcissism and re-interprets this to mean that there is a core basis to narcissism, but that aspects of it manifest differently in men (overt) and women (covert).

The Mirror, Book One: Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood continues to progress towards a February 2014 launch. This is an auspicious Friday the 13th day, as I am certain it will ultimately prove very unlucky to “certain” individuals, with me not being one of them. };-))>

Think about setting aside a little of the New Year’s bubbly, and saving it for a blogging book launch party!

P.S. WordPress is screwing up the italics in this post. I give up trying to correct it.

The manuscript

2 Dec

I submitted my approved manuscript to friesenpress.com this morning.

Not having been through the book publishing experience before, I thought I might make a post of it. In my humble three months of blogging, I seem to have fallen in with a rather delightful constellation of bloggers who, in many cases, aspire to be writers for various reasons.

I hesitate to break the news to them, but if they blog, they already are writers. Still, they might find my journey of interest.

My book adventure, if I can call it that, began in the summer of 2008. After four years of research and thinking, and with a couple of false starts, I finally began writing in earnest in August 2012. The first draft took five months. What was originally intended to be a 60,000 word effort – an artificial constraint – grew to 90,000 words at the half way point.

So one book became two. Two is to follow; One was enough for the present.

The first draft was the easy part, although it took most of my vacation time, evenings, and weekends. I was a bit driven, but in a noble way. What was harder was the refining. A series of wonderful test readers provided invaluable feedback. (Note to aspiring writers – your fellow bloggers are your best friends. Take care of them, and they will repay you a thousand fold.) Not proof readers per se, but insightful individuals who could provide meaningful high level critiques of the work. Every iteration improved the manuscript and increased my confidence that what would result would be something extraordinary.

Yet what parent doesn’t love their child?

With the help of these wonderful and supportive individuals, who are in fact deserving of praise for their contributions, the manuscript reached the point where I can breath a sigh of relief: it is beyond my ability to improve upon it, however imperfect it may still be.

Thus, is was with a clean conscience and no remorse that I submitted the manuscript to my self publishing house first thing this morning.

The forecast book release is February 2014. For those who have read the various iterations of the manuscript, you’ll understand me when I say that I suspect that my life will, to some extent, irrevocably change when the book is released.

To those who would write a more substantial work, I can state from experience that perseverance, grit, and a ton of hard work are the key ingredients.

Regardless, ofttimes in life it is the journey as much as the destination that proves to be what is truly important. For those who share this journey with me, however small this recompense may be, thank you.

The maelstrom approaches. Its name? The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood.