Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Closing in on Publication: Final Proofs, Fan Mail, Deep Breathing

So, after years of waiting, it happens suddenly. Yesterday I got the manuscript proofs from my publisher and went over them, made some minor changes, and sent them back. The cover (which looks a lot like this, but not exactly) was sent along, too, so I could get and idea of what was going on and to add a "nummy" blurb for the back cover (a "nummy" is a positive review someone made, hopefully someone with some gravitas in the writing area). The printer is sending a proof of the cover's final layup for my approval.

All this is done, so what now? Lots to do. Once I get the cover, I'll have my web designer make changes/updates to my website. I need to get more buzz going out there via FaceBook and Twitter. I've got a TV interview scheduled on a local channel in Salisbury, MD on February 19th. I won't have a copy of the book yet, but the publisher suggested I cut and paste the proof copy of the cover onto my other book and use it as a mock-up version. And a publishing party? We'll have to plan that. Terry is up for getting something going and I'll have to get some invitations printed up. Let's see, who to invite? The owners of the local bookstore, any one locally who has shown and interest in my writing and bought the first book in the trilogy, members of my writers group. We'll wait until spring for this.

Next, some news releases for local papers and trying to arrange some book signings, maybe another summer book tour swing through the south via Walden book stores like I did with the first book. Hit stores in Myrtle Beach and Charlston. Maybe I could get something going in Virginia Beach. That would be fun now that I know what to expect (read: don't set your expectations too high--or high at all, for that matter).

The publisher is getting things set up with Amazon so that readers can pre-order. The books will also be available on other internet outlets like Walden and Barnes & Noble. The sooner that happens the better. You can also visit my publisher's website at and order from them.

I also need to get some bookmarks printed up to include with the each copy and to place them at bookstores in the area. I'm going to D.C. for two weeks in March and--I'm thinking aloud here--maybe I can cop a signing in a bookstore up there. Hmmmm. To be honest, big book stores, or even small ones, usually treat non-famous writers pretty badly. Some book store managers won't even talk to non-famous writers. They assume we are self-published hacks (there are soooo many out there). It's the price we pay in this age of quick-print, self-publishing where suddenly anyone can become a "writer" without having spent the time to acquire any skills at all and what they have written is utter garbage. (Note to would-be writers: Pay your dues. Learn to write. And DON'T SELF-PUBLISH. Find a real publisher. If you can write well, you will find one. Self-publishing is the kiss of death for a writer. You will never be forgiven.)

I got some fan mail yesterday from a young person in Spokane, Washington. Thanks, Sabrina, it is a pleasure to connect with you. Hope you enjoy Book II as much as you said you enjoyed Book I. It's exciting for me to get your emails.

Now, where was I? It's a another day of cold and blowing snow here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. What's this all about, anyway? Friday Terry and I are flying to Atlanta where we will visit daughter/son-in-law and, yes, grandson. Then, on Tuesday I fly back here and get ready for the TV thing in Salisbury while Terry stays on in Atlanta for the rest of the week for FEA meetings. I also have another novel going, lest I forget that, and I'd better not.

1 comment:

  1. Note to would-be writer is taken. Now I'm so curious I need to read your 1st book.