I've spent hours and hours and hours of my life writing. As a kid, I wrote poetry, stories, character sketches, and then went on to focus on journal writing.
I was so empty.
Around 1990 (my early twenties), I mustered the courage to tackle my dream of writing a novel.
Was my goal to become a famous writer? No.
Was my goal to sell a million copies and become wealthy? No.
My goal was simply to write something worthwhile, a novel that would reach out and grab another human being by the throat and relay a profound message. I needed to pour myself out and prove that there was something beautiful inside that was worth sharing ... and therefore, loving. Perhaps this was an extremely selfish reason to write a novel.
Sometimes I am selfish.
So I set off on my long, fateful writing adventure, and never looked back. After five years, I finished the first novel, BOUNDARIES and started a second. After ten years, my nonfiction work was eventually published by McGraw-Hill. Then, my second novel, ABERRATIONS , was published by a small press, Greenleaf Book Group. It recieved wonderful reviews. I went on to tackle a third novel, CENTERPIECES.
By this time, I had become intensely fixated on gaining acceptance from a large, traditional publisher. I didn't long for such a formidable establishment to make me rich or famous. I craved validation. I needed the likes of Simon & Schuster or Grand Central to tell me that I was worth loving. I wanted them to stamp my soul and hand it to readers in a beautiful package of "this is absolutely worthwhile."
In 2008, I picked up a paint brush and my perspective began to change. When I painted, although my ability was evolving, each piece was perfect. It somehow represented exactly who I was at that point in time, flaws and all. I didn't care if anyone liked it or not; I didn't need anyone to tell me that it was good. I didn't care if the whole entire world hated it; it was me staring back at myself. It was breathtakingly beautiful; something to cherish.
Perhaps I was finally learning to love myself. I began to wonder why I was so devastated each time one of my novels was rejected (dispite words of praise for the work), whereas if someone didn't care for the style of my painting, I could care less. I had an inner confidence about the art work that was missing from my writing.
This train of thought shook me; it woke me up.
Over the years, I've had several great literary agents who all believed in me. By the time I began painting, and subsequently embarked on my fourth novel, DUST, numerous A-list editors had read my work. They knew my name in New York; they were interested in seeing my new work. They sent me emails. They praised my talent.
But the economy was tanking ... now Borders is bankrupt.
When I finished DUST, something clicked. I loved it the way I love my art; I woke up in a new place. It didn't happen overnight, but somehow I stepped back and realized that I had created a body of work that does express who I am, that is worthwhile, and worth sharing. I remembered my initial goal to simply reach out and grab someone. I remembered why I wanted to write in the first place. I realized I had finally accomplished that goal.
I no longer need Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, or Hyperion to convince me that I have something valuable to offer.
CENTERPIECES is a novel about being true to yourself. It's a story about how life tries like hell to attach borders, titles, labels, and dollar signs to each of us, and how, in the end, happiness has absolutely nothing to do with those ridiculous notions. It's about how falling prey to those lies can turn us into monsters. True validation comes from within. That is where we are all beautiful.
I've made the decision to publish CENTERPIECES under the INDIE imprint, Hallway Press. Hall was my maiden name, and my father is the one who instilled in me a love for literature. I'm moving down a new path (or hallway) where I see numerous doors and opportunities. I'm going my own way.
If all goes as planned, over the next couple of years, I'll also publish my other two novels BOUNDARIES and DUST under this imprint.
Sharing my novels with you is icing on the beautiful cake that is my life. Take it or leave it; you decide. I have accomplished my initial goal.
I am so full.
CENTERPIECES is coming soon ....
Vincent van Gogh fakes his death. Ellis Spencer longs to paint. Holly Carter conceals a famous lineage. Theo van Gogh gains his health, but loses the woman he loves. Mimi Calais says she's a vampire. Tom Spencer hatches a plan. Ellis and Tom Spencer head up the drug safety organization in one of the world's largest and most respected companies, Pratt Pharmaceuticals. Tom's deviant plan for their future begins to splinter when Ellis meets Holly Carter, a lonely southern woman who has come to New York to pursue art while furthering her pharmaceutical career. Holly lives in a Greenwich Village apartment building owned by Mimi, a mysterious young woman whose claims of being a vampire remind Holly that she's not dead yet. As Ellis pursues Holly, the past and present begin to overlap. Dark secrets emerge amidst Mimi's bizarre bookstore, strip clubs, galleries, brownstones, corporate culture, and Starbucks ad nauseam. Two sets of extraordinary brothers, and two very different women, struggle to carve out unique identities in a world where middle age is the beginning of the end; corporate puppets and dreaming immigrants rub shoulders in the hallowed burning halls of Ellis Island; and forever takes on new meaning. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. Based on extensive research, Centerpieces explores the miraculous explosion of Van Gogh's work shortly after his suicide and the death of his brother, Theo, six months later. Join Vincent in a journey of self-discovery, friendship, betrayal, fantasy, corporate intrigue, and love. Find out what he sacrificed for art.