Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
June 16
There is your truth ... there is my truth ... and there is everything between. That leads to the better question: Is there an Everlasting Truth? I submit there is only the Everlasting Quest for the truth. __________________________________ I believe that in essence We are God. That is to say, humankind, for all it's faults, has power over Good and Evil. As the Eden Tale intimates, humans alone, in all Creation, have "eaten" from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and thus humans alone, in all Creation, have the ability and responsibility to choose between the two. Thus, each of us is in essence a god, and the Sum of us, through all generations past, present and future is God. By those choices, we are the creators of what was, what is and what will be. And by those choices, we, collectively, choose whether to exist here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven or in a Living Hell. _________________________________ "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk ______________________________


DECEMBER 18, 2008 4:01PM

The Joy of Masturbation

Rate: 35 Flag


The Disappearing Cemetery

Pride goeth before a fall we’re told. I admit it; I was proud of myself. I devoted two years of my life to writing a book that presented a two-thousand year history of the people we mistakenly call Scotch-Irish – and I was pleased with the results.

It was no small task. It required a great deal of historical research that included everything from the Roman invasion of Britannia to the building of the gigantic Oak Ridge nuclear facility during World War II.

It also required a lot of investigative reporting, trying to piece together the facts about an incident involving a tiny family cemetery in the mountains of East Tennessee.

That incident was the departure point on this historical journey. I hoped that by weaving the incident throughout the book, the narrative would compel the reader to hang around and learn some fascinating history.

• • •

The book was a joint effort; I provided the writing, and my partner provided the money. We decided that rather than waste possibly years trying to interest a publisher in it; we would publish it ourselves.

I say we, but it was he who put up the substantial investment for two-thousand copies of a hardcover book. All he asked is that it be something he could be proud of, said he didn't even want to see it till it was in print.

I gave him the first copy, and he stayed up all night reading it. "Best money I ever spent," he said.

• • • 

Thus my book was born, and like any father, I thought I had reason to be proud. Turns out, I was wrong. I’m told I should be ashamed of myself.

A couple of days ago, trying to be helpful to someone who complained in a post about his inability to secure an editor for his literary masterpiece, I remarked that I had been modestly successful publishing my own book. Apparently, I unwittingly violated some secret, sacred code among serious writers, and he proceeded to educate me.

"I'd no more publish myself than fuck myself.”

Now maybe I was too hasty in my response, and maybe I stooped to conquer. But among simpler folk here in the mountains, we have a rule: If you dish it out, you should be able to take it. So I replied:

“I guess that means you’ve never masturbated.”

• • • 

I give him partial credit; he didn’t respond in kind – or maybe he didn’t want to own up to masturbating – or maybe he never has masturbated, I don’t know. In any case, I thought it was pretty gutless of him to delete my comment on his post.

Maybe that was his way of rubbing salt in my wound, deeming my attempt at humor not worthy of his elevated opinion of himself. After all, he’s from New York City, and in his post, he dropped the names of all the big-time agents and publishers who’ve ignored him – perhaps with good reason.

Still, if he really runs in those circles, he knows book publishing is a scam. Not long ago, Jerome Corsi, a hack writer, made the rounds of all the talk shows and got hammered for writing trash. But thanks to the New York public relations machinery, his book ended up on the NYT best-seller list. Of course, it should have had an asterisk, since it got a big sales boost from right-wingnuts who bought the book in bulk from the publisher.

See, even simpletons here in Beeffee know how the publishing business is gamed. I learned the lesson the hard way from my experience in the music publishing business, which is a very similar scam. Knowing the game is rigged is why I said to hell with ‘em and published my own damned book.

 • • •

My education in self-publsihing was complete when I tried to market my book traditionally. At a friend’s insistence, I sent the book to Oprah and got back a one-sentence response letter thanking me for my story idea for her show (huh?). I sent it for review at Barnes & Noble’s Small Publisher arm and got back a form letter from a “reviewer” explaining that fiction was a difficult market to break into (fiction? uh - did you notice my book had a bibliography?).

Another friend told me the secret for getting play on Amazon, but by then I’d had enough. To hell with ‘em, I said again; I’ll sell it myself.

• • • 

Sour grapes? Maybe. Am I a loser or what? Maybe not.

If I had waited for a publisher, I would probably still be waiting – and hundreds of people who have read my book wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn a little history in an unexpected way. See, unlike Corsi’s book, many of the people who bought mine actually read it. How do I know? Because many of them thought enough of it to write me.

Now I could throw in a few quotes from those letters about what a wonderful writer I am, but that would be bragging, and lord knows, I’ve been chastised enough about pride. But the gist of the most frequent comment is this:

“Why weren’t we taught history this way?”

Why indeed? Maybe because mainstream publishers were too busy making a buck off the next best-seller by Jerome Corsi or Ann Coulter.

Now, I think I’ll publish this booklet and go fuck myself.

©2008 Tom Cordle

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I'm proud of you as a fellow East Tennessean. Good for you my friend.

I think I read the post you are referring to but don't recall the author.
That's alright because I'm more interested in your book. The cover is beautiful. Nothing like the Smoky's.
My interest is in the Scot- Irish history and especially the hills of eastern Tennessee. My mother grew up in a small town called Sneedville. Maybe near you, I don't know. Our ancestors were early settlers in those parts.
Monte Canfield wrote a recent post about racism and brought up the subject of the Melungeons. A mixed race that it seems I may be descended from. You may have heard of them.
I'd love to buy a copy of your book, but I might have wait until the recession is over. Things have been tough as of late. I've got a couple things in the works and might be able to swing it in the near future. I will surely mail it to my Mom as soon as I'm done. She'd absolutely love it!
I'll email you when my ship comes in. Unless I'm at the airport.

Holiday Cheer! M
Greg - I'm confused; aren't you in Chicago? You've probably explained this before, but as you can see from this post, I'm a slow learner.
MichaelR - yeah, I didn't want to name names in this case, but it was sure tempting.

One thing I learned from writing this book is that Scotch-Irish is an American term, and the people it refers to probably ought to be called Ulster Scots. The book deals with that, too.

Sneedville is near the KY border, I'm about 30 mi from GA and 15 from NC.

A prof did a study on Melungeons not long ago and came to the conclusion that there probably wasn't such an ethnicity, that as you noted so-called M are actually a mixed bag of races. One genetic marker they seem to share with NA is the so-called "shovel-tooth".
Run your tongue along the back of your first incisor, and if you fell a spur, it is supposed to be genetic marker.

I qualify my statements because the whole subject of race is very much up in the air among geneticists.

Email me and I'm sure we can work something out on the book, if you're really interested. Dealing with people directly has been one of the truly rewarding benefits of doing it myself.

As for that mystery ship, a line from one of my songs goes:

"Every time my ship comes into harbor
I've always just set sail"
Ooh, see, Tom, I was avoiding this post just based on the title. (Unlike others, I guess, I tend not to rush into the sex-titillation headline posts; quite the opposite, in fact.)

I think you did absolutely what's right for you, and you have every reason to be proud.

Some people NEED the validation of a publisher; others, who actually want to just get their book out there, don't. Obviously you're among the latter, and that's as admirable as anything.
Yeah, I didn't mean for it to sound like the melungeons were a race unto themselves. Though it sure sounds like that, the way I wrote it. Definitely a mixed bag of nuts. My grand mother on my mother's side was a Gibson and my great grand mother was a Collins. Both had darker features and high cheek bones.
The teeth is a new one on me. I have a relative crest up near the gum line. Don't know if that qualifies as a spur or not. It's just that the area has personal meaning to me.
You are now another post it stuck to my monitor. Just to remind me about the book.
I couldn't find Mayberry Tn. though I did find Mount Pilot. (I joke)
Unlike Verbal, I was drawn to this post as a long time lover of Joy and an expert master bait man.

I have a longish tale to relate about publishing and DIY and my experience buying Bob Eckstein's book recently. I may come back and tell it here or I may turn it into a post of my own.

But I do want to send a huge shout-out to my long-time, real-life virtual friend Tom Cordle, a man amongst men, as McKinley Morganfield might have said.

Now, I too, will go fuck myself.
Good post Tom.
I'm very encouraged ............

As far as I can see, any way you publish is valid because we want readers.........don't we?
Verbal - just like in the real world, titles matter a lot. I have observed in my brief stay here that titillation is far more in vogue than I would have expected -- or frankly prefer -- but when in Room, do as the Roomans.
MichaelR - Mayberry is a pseudonym, it's what we who live call this place, I'm trying to maintain some small vestige of privacy to ward off spammers since I've used my real name and my real picture
Lonnie - Thank you, ahm dependint on the kin'ness of strangers - It was another Tennessee boy wrote that. As you can see from Verbal's comment, you cain't win with this here namin' stuff
Gary, you're certainly right about that -- I mean we are all here raging against the night, aren't we.
Way to go Tom! Stories like this give us ALL hope!
I'm Scots-Irish from E. Tennessee, too. Grew up in Oak Ridge and then across the river from that unique Atomic City, picnicked at Norris Dam frequently, and knew many people who were displaced by TVA and the AEC. And of course, many who sent their kids to college on TVA and AEC/ERDA/DOE subcontractor salaries. Maternal family has been in E. Tennessee since the Revolution.

I'll sweep through your postings to find out more about the book. Don't know that my market will go for it, but an author visit might spark some interest. Something you'd consider?
Chicago - wish I had time to go into all the wonderful experiences this book has brought me, including giving my book to one poor guy whose wife had just thrown him out of the house. He later wrote me to say I had "restored his faith in humanity". Talk about priceless!
Tom, the incisor spur? Are you saying it's a Scots-Irish genetic marker or a Melungeon genetic marker? My high school journalism teacher authored one of the Mercer University series of books about the Melungeons and I went to school with many of them, although at that time it was not something people celebrated. But people didn't shun them either.

I have the spur, but I doubt seriously that we mixed with the Melungeons, who were hermitic from way back. I do have Cherokee blood - My great-great-great grandmother was spared the worst of the Trail of Tears by marrying a sympathetic soldier and returning to the mountains. But the Scottish Protestant genes turned me pink.
Randy - howdy, neighbor! You won't find much if anything about my book here other than this post -- I've tried to avoid using this room as a storefront. I'd love to do an author visit; I've appeared a few times at the East Tennessee Historical Society and other venues in the area including the LeConte Book Club in Knoxville. It's always a lively discussion!
Good story, Tom. I'm glad to find that it wasn't about what the title suggested (like a few other commenters).
Redstocking - 4? Not sure I wanna go there. Thanks for the kind words, though.
This may come as a shock to some of you, but I find nothing wrong in self-promotion. Good for you.
Randy - The shovel tooth is supposed to be a NA genetic marker, and it is common among so-called Melugeons. As I said, the scholarship suggests that Melungeons are not likely a "lost tribe" from Portugal or other places as is commonly suggested, but are of a mixed genetic background.

However, some researchers, including Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution believe some NA peoples may be related to the Solutreans and migrated from the Iberian peninsula to the New World as much as 20.000 years ago.

This theory by the fact that Solutrean and Clovis artifacts are nearly identical. There is genetic evidence that supports this theory as well. I'm afraid I'm in deeper here than this format can handle.
Rob - thanks, language is a funny thing, and so is people's reaction to it, as George Carlin made a career of pointing out. Masturbation as this post demonstrates can be viewed in other ways, just as intercourse also means conversation which also means copulation.

Shakespeare loved to get away with such double entendre, but then he lived and wrote in a time when people weren't nearly so shocked by such language as we pretend to be.
Freaky - far be it from me to ever accuse you of self-promotion!
That's fantastic Tom.

There was a story published in a local paper here in San Francisco that you ALL might get a kick out of.

She had an actual funeral for the book that she had written, and that had been rejected over and over again.

Tom, I will try to keep this short. I know the publishing houses all too well, I would definately self publish if I could. every thing you statehereis soo true.
I am with Michael,. I want one too. I think I must be kin to the whole eastern part of Tennesee. We must be kin somewhere my friend.
When my ship comes in...
Great post, Tom. One way to get published by Amazon (yes, I said published; not merely sold by) is to publish it yourself, and if you experience some sales and any real interest is shown, Amazon might steal it and publish it themselves. I have a friend from the Philippines who wrote and published his own book, and it's become a small success in his home country. The book is about family and family values, and my friend had it printed in the Philippines (much cheaper to do so there) and lo and behold, before long it was on and had been translated into five other languages! They just stole it, printed it, and started selling it. My friend consulted his attorney, who said, (this is great) 'Great. No sense in being in a hurry to initiate a lawsuit. This is wonderful publicity. Let 'em sell it, and the better it does, the more money we can sue them for...'

This gives you even more of a clear picture of what's going on. I'd say your critic doesn't know shit from apple butter.

I've just tried to find the post I wrote on someone else's blog that told my own sordid little tale about literary agents (Is there a way to search that out and find it...?). I'm with you. Brick 'n mortar publishing is dying, and the net is the way to promote and market your book. I'm now in the process of building a website to do precisely that.

Good luck to you.
Ahhh, found it. On Ben Sen's blog. This is a re-post, but it's perfect for this blog too.

Those of us who are unknowns are bound to have a difficult time of it; especially if we didn't go to the right schools with the rest of the lucky sperm club.

I finished my first novel in March, 2004. It seemed ordained. You know the feeling. I was in Missoula at the time, hanging out at the same bar as James Crumley, who has William Morrow; and in between beers and holding down the pool table, I tried to befriend him; but Crumley is aptly named. He doesn't fraternize with small fry. Undeterred, I sent out two dozen queries to agents and got several responses, two of which were form letters with the usual informative suggestions. One agency wanted to see a little more, so I sent them the first three or four chapters; per their request; and then they asked for the book. I was on cloud nine, because this was a fairly prestigious literary agency. I made four bound copies of my manuscript; one for the agent, two for me, and one for the Library of Congress. Next stop, Hollywood. heh heh

They kept my book for over six months without a word. I knew enough not to hound them, but eventually I emailed the agent and inquired as to the status of my submission. I was told it was in process. Two months later the process was unresolved, and I was getting annoyed enough to begin thinking about more aggressive strategies, so I emailed the owner and president of the agency, shared my experience, and he promised to look into it. A few days later he responded by saying 'he was unable to sell my novel in this market,' which in my mind meant he didn't have the cojones... and he asked, would I like him to destroy the ms.? I said, no, please, thank you; send it back to me. He said, surely; if you will kindly send me the postage due. I said, oh surely I will, and he sent it.

Earlier this year, I finished my second book. I sent out another two dozen queries with the same ratio of responses, only this time no one wanted a deeper look. Sign of the times. I also contacted the same agency I'd had such luck with before, this time going directly to the president, seeing as I had such a rapport with him; and told him I now have two novels finished, and the market is different. Would you like to give them a look? I asked, to which he responded "First, you have to read MY book; and then you have to see MY movie..."

To which I replied, "You mean I have to patronize you in order to become your client..."

And I'm sure you can guess the rest of the story. This guy, like most of the rest of God's little literary agents, wants to be a rock star. So he's selling HIS book and HIS movie to the writers who are sending queries to him... and in my third book I'm going to lampoon the living shit outa this guy. (smile) So now I am building a website that'll hopefully be up by the end of the year, through which I intend to promote and market my novels.

On my myspace page, I reveal that I am a writer, and agents are encouraged to respond. I haven't heard from one yet. In the balance, through my website I might attract a respectable brick 'n mortar publisher, if I can attract enough hits and do some business, although quite honestly, I'd rather keep creative control of my work and not have some junior editor telling me how to write and wanting to put a leash around my neck and parade me in every pizza parlor from here to Portland. I'm being cavalier as hell, but so what...?

I'm independent by nature, preferring to do it myself; and I've never heard much about agents (or publishing houses) to make me think I oughta change my strategy. It beats waiting on them.

To be clear, Tom, I applaud your style. I agree with you on language.
There was a time in business when they said talking on the phone was no substitute for face to face communication. There was a time when you only used email for personal stuff that wasn't important at all. Now, it is possible to conduct business entirely by email, and never officially 'meet' the other person. I have a number of colleagues and clients around the world I've never laid eyes on - we enjoy an productive business relationship.

Similarly, there was a time when self-published meant "can't get published because I'm not a good enough writer". Not all self-published books were dreck but a lot were. But now we live in a new age, and there are many intrepid writers trying the waters of self-publishing, and some of their work is very fine. These brave pioneers are knocking down the Berlin Wall of the publishing oligarchy. And at some point, some of these folks will achieve a level of fame and fortune that matches what a mid-list author makes, and then there will be a lemming-like flocking to the self-publishing industry, and the products produced will have about the same distribution of 'meh' to 'wow' that the current 'legitimate' publishing inudstry has. That's when self-publishing will become a booming industry replete with consultants and experts to help you and oh by the way get a share of your success, which they will then parlay into a business not unlike today's agent.

What goes around comes around. Follow your bliss - write because you love it. Be honest about the relationship of your talent to your ambition. If it's important to you, get published whichever way you can. Great writing will always have an appreciative audience.
Toni - I've always been fond of Churchill's quote about writing a book, though I don't think he ever had to worry about finding a publisher:

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”
Suzy - howdy, cuz. Like I told Michael, if you want one email me, and we can work something out.
dynomite - the post you referred to - the post, not your comment which I read there with much empathy --is what "inspired" me to write this one
Rob - I'm basking in your applause
Redstocking - you're reminding me of that old joke about the nunnery
"lights out at nine; candles out at ten"
Sandra - from you lips to God's ears, and as someone once said "When everyone is on the Internet, that will be God."

For good or ill, I have reached the point in my life where my ambition is smaller than my talent -- that wasn't always so. While the size of my audience is reduced considerably from what I once dreamed of, I am now able to appreciate my audience much more.
Good story, Tom. I do not understand the offense taken by someone to whom you suggested a method of publication. WTF?

Your writing always holds my attention.

Rick - thanks, I'll chalk it up to my old nemesis:

"What we have heah is a failyer tuh commun'cate."
Thanks for a great story, Tom.
good story. sorry I'm late getting here, but was a little afraid of the title.

I'll be emailing you - my father-in-law's family are Scotch-Irish from Asheville, NC & parts of Tennessee. He would absolutely LOVE your book - can you get it here by Christmas? :-)

Lisa -- sorry 'bout dat, but as you can see from the previous comments, I had a struggle with this title myself. It was originally gonna be Licking My Wounds, but that's a little gross, too, I guess. I addressed the book question in an email.
Tom, this is a great post. And it really resonated for me. My best friend and I wrote a humor book called "Hot Women, Hot Flashes: Musing of Mid-Life". It's a back and forth email style about a year in our life. It's actually pretty damn funny. We were able to procure a very good agent within 3 weeks of submitting. It got presented to the "top" publishers. They didn't like the email format. A French publisher bought the French rights last year and it was published in French. We got a 4 figure check that we were thrilled with. I'm published but can't read my own book. Anyway, I don't want to make this about me (too late), but I'd love to hear more about the self-publishing process. I've spent a considerable amount of time looking into it. Also, how can I buy a copy of your book? Being Irish and married to someone Scottish, I'd love to read it.
Hey Tom.... nothing wrong with self publishing. Lots of best sellers even started that way. Perhaps the person who got prickly has confused self publishing with vanity press. They're not even remotely the same. Ah well, to each their own. *shrugs*
this is a great story. and the publishing world is changing in front of our very eyes.

self/ independent publishing has a long and proud history -- poe, swift, grisham, sandburg, hemingway, dumas, and on and on... you are in in GREAT company.

you've inspired me to post my list of self-published and often rejected authors.

I'd often thought of going this route. This is no reflection on you or your ability, but the people I know that have self-published - well, their stuff just wasn't very good. And I do think it picks up its stigma from that very thing. Since anyone can self-publish, you get a huge array of talent level and ability. Too many shitty writers with money can do it. Maybe agents and so forth are a little sick of being asked to spend their time on crappy literature?

Anyway, it really is no reflection on the writer's ability or the quality of the book but since the stigma has been established it has hurt it's reputation as a reliable option.

Boy, that sounded like a lot of bullshit, huh?

You do what you gotta do.

That sounded better and I should have lead with that.
Duane -- As I hoped I made clear in this post, I'm all too aware of the stigma regarding self-publishing. But when the choice is between self-published and unpublished that's a no-brainer -- especially when someone else is footing the bill - and paying you to write the book as well!!

No reflection on you or your ability, of course, but the unpublished -- who'd rather wallow in their puerile purity while waiting to be beknighted by some NY editor --who by the way is far too busy whoring away with the latest tome from Corsi or Coulter or Grisham or Bush -- as I also hope I made clear, and if not, I'll say it again -- they can kiss my self-published ass.

My bottom line? If you need someone else to tell you you're a writer, you aren't one.
I missed this the first time around--right on the money.
Con -- Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you agree.
I wasn't @ Open Salon in December.
Yea for bringing Your book up again.
Nashville's The Southwestern Pub?
They published:`The Ugly Duckling.
Tom Cordle. Remember the adage.
He that writes a book walks all day.
Tom C. walks with his pants down too.
Re-title? Adventures of Tight Girdles.
Tom Cordle The Happy Bushy Squirrel.
I forget who said:`To write a book,
first You slip Ya pants to the ankle.
You do that at a OS's NYC's Toast.
O Wine.
I'll buy 1.
O so silly.
Good luck.
Yay for you, Tom! Mr. (I know who you were referring to in this post) can kiss my ass too! Pompus Ass. Good for you for self publishing the smart way (on someone else's dime). And you are a writer. No doubt about it.
Arthur -- Thank you for following this overgrown path in the backwoods. If I ever manage to figure out what you're saying, I'm going to check myself into a hospital somewhere.
Gracielou -- I'm looking forward to that visit from you, and when you do we can kick that pompous ass around some more over a few beers.
Well then there now, talk about getting to the party late. I wonder if comment notification still works after two years?

You might remember a dear friend of mine who grew up in Oak Ridge and played basketball for Tennessee State - Gene O'Bleness. He passed last year, but we worked together for over a decade at the same newspaper. A merry prankster was he, and we shared many a fine time in them good ol' days of yore. Hope it's still not to late to rate. (r)
Thanks for the visit. I turned off comment notification a long time ago, but I do periodically check the comments archive. I'm sorry, I did not know Gene, I'm the worst of all sinners in these parts -- a halfback -- a damned Yankee from Michigan who moved to Florida and then moved only half-way back about ten years ago
Glad I clicked on this link. There may be a lot of crap self-published, but there is an equal amount of crap published by big publishers, who couldn't tell a good book if it was thrown on their face.
What Sirenita said. I followed her here out of curiosity, and wound up learning a lot!
Heya Tom, I see this is from a few years ago, but the lessons still apply. Thanks for sharing your VOE, and hope the run of the book went well. And wow, you write really well. I love your part of the country, having driven through it on my way way here. I'll be back, HERE, for sure.
Books are like movies and music -- what's popular is rarely what's best. Whether my book is any good or not is for others to draw their own conclusions. As for me, I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to write it and get it into print.
Thanks for following. Writing a book, which is in many ways a history book, was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. Unlike Corsi or Coulter, my greatest fear was getting something wrong, so I had to do a great deal or research to arrive at the truth. I say truth, but one of the things this book taught me is that when it comes to history, there is no absolute truth save for names and dates -- which are the least interesting part of history.
Thanks for the compliment; I work very hard at trying to put my thoughts together meaningfully on paper (and screen), but I know full well, the limits of written language in conveying complex ideas. My great joy in this venue, though, is not in having a place for my own thoughts, but in having a place to exchange thoughts with thoughtful intelligent people. That's why the comment section of my posts is often longer -- and better -- than the posts themselves.

I'm relieved to say most of the books have been sold -- you can't imagine how big a pile 2000 books is or how weak-kneed and inadequate I felt when first I saw two pallets stacked high with books I was responsible for selling.