One year ago, I stepped up to the podium in the Arroyo Room at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, California and read the first page of One In A Million to a gathering full of my closest friends and family. I can still remember looking at everyone and thinking that I was the luckiest guy alive. My incredible wife had put together a wonderful evening, my kids were watching with excitement and there I was, at long last, officially about to live my dream. That’s a really cool feeling.
To get there, though, I had to get past all the naysayers. “You’ll never find an agent,” they said. Fine. I’ll hire a consultant and negotiate my own deals. “You’ll never find a publisher,” they countered. That’s okay. I’ll start my own publishing imprint. “No one will like your books.” We’ll have to wait and see. And then there was one more criticism, the one that cut the deepest, especially for a numbers guy like me. But we’ll talk about that one later.
The truth is that to get to that night, to read those first words of my very first book, I had to fight through plenty. Writing a debut novel is one thing, but a debut trilogy? It’s no walk in the park. You’re asking people who’ve never heard of you as an author to follow you on a 1200-page journey, not just a 300 page one. Yet One In A Million and the two books that follow it in The Fasano Trilogy have now garnered over 180 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 Star Average and – beyond belief – they’ve earned solid praise from both Kirkus Reviews and Midwest Book Review that I couldn’t possibly be more thankful for.
I’m not gloating. I feel incredibly humbled and blessed by all of this. What I am doing though is trying to make a point: don’t give up on chasing your dream, whatever it is. Ever. Because if you do, you’ll never know what could’ve happened. There will always be reasons why you shouldn’t chase it. It’s rarely practical (but “practical” is so boring) and it’s not always profitable (if you only define profit in dollars instead of a greater currency, like memories). You only have one life before it’s all over and man is it ever fun when you live it according to your heart.
As for that one criticism that I mentioned earlier that always cut me the deepest? I heard it so many times I could barely take it. “You’re crazy. Do you know what the odds are of succeeding at this? At best? One in a million.” What did I say? Nothing. Instead, that’s what I named my book.
Thanks to you all for a wonderful first year!
THIS MONTH, I’M PLEASED TO PROMOTE A FELLOW WRITER, PAMELA CRANE. She’s a fellow Pittsburgher and if you like my stuff I think you’re going to like hers. Her latest book is currently part of Murder and Mayhem, an incredible box set of 20 books that’s selling for only .99 cents (that’s not a typo).
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