Newsletter - June 2018
Welcome to the latest newsletter for Andrewgnelson.org
“The results came back on your biopsy. You tested positive for cancer.”
Not exactly the words you ever, want to hear, but life comes at you fast. Sadly, I had that train pulled into my station last December, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected. As some of you know, my old partner, Paul Murphy, passed away last January. He had been battling his 9/11 cancer for several years and he unexpectedly lost the war. I will admit that over the years I have battled with survivor’s guilt, something I am sure that many of my fellow first responders have also dealt with. But when Paul got diagnosed it really made me wonder why him and not me? We’d stood next to one another, breathing in the same exact toxic dust cloud, so in a very macabre way, getting diagnosed sort of validated things for me.
The sad fact is that those of us who were exposed to toxins on that day, and during the ensuing months of rescue and recovery, all gave a part of us. Now, on June 21st I will be giving myself over to the fine surgeons in Springfield and they can have another part of me.
You’d expect that I would be a bit more morose, but I’m not. In what I can only describe as a divinely inspired screw-up, my cancer was caught early so the prognosis is very good. But it also pushed me into another literary direction, which I will get to shortly.
Fortunately, I will be in the wonderful care of my dear wife, and occasional co-author, Nancy. I’m sure she will give me adequate time to recover from my surgery; at least until the 25th or the 26th the latest. Since doing her ancestry DNA, she has fully embraced her Viking heritage and has proven to be quite the task master. I guess I should be happy she didn’t find out she was related to a pirate and made me build a plank to walk!!
Unfortunately, because of the recuperation time involved, this will be the last newsletter for the summer. I figure you have better things to do while the sun is shining. So I will be restarting the newsletter in September. Hopefully the summer hiatus will allow me to bring you much more news and information.
JAMES MAGUIRE SERIES – Work has slowed down a bit on the fifth (as yet untitled) James Maguire book. So far I have seven chapters completed, but something else has come up that has pulled me away for the moment. I hope to return to it shortly, but the reality is that it is probably going to be pushed back to early fall. One thing that I find interesting is the on-line political conspiracy theories behind the recent spate of celebrity suicides. When you read this book, remember it was written BEFORE all this happened. The reason for the delay in this book is as follows:
WHERE WAS GOD? – Five years ago, I began writing a non-fiction book that asked that very question in regards to the terror attack of September 11th. I had the idea, but for some unknown reason I could never find the right words. They call this ‘writer’s block,’ which is a nice way of saying your imaginary friends have stopped talking to you. Well, in this case it wasn’t my imaginary friends but God, and so I waited. Then, in a moment of clarity, which only comes from truth, I began to find the words. In this case it was my cancer diagnosis. I reason that it is hard to give a testimony about something so serious, when you have no skin in the game; like getting marriage advice from someone who has never been married. On the morning of September 11th I was given the gift of life when I was saved by a pack of cigarettes. Then I was given the gift of writing. In December I was given the gift of cancer, so that I could share a testimony with the world and answer the question: Where Was God?
BOOK SIGNING – Had a great time at the Spring book signing event at the Springfield, Illinois Barnes & Noble on May 19th, 2018. Attendance was down a bit due to several other activities going on in the city that day, but it was still an awesome event and I had a chance to talk to several other authors. Word is that they are planning a fall event, so as soon as I know more I will share it here with you.
GEAR – After much consideration, we decided to add some swag items to our website. At the present moment we have introduced two embroidered patches. These come with a regular backing, as well as a Velcro backing if you want to add them to hats, bags, etc… We have also added a book plate for those who want their copies autographed.
BLOG POSTS – With everything going on, I have not had a chance to write a new blog post, and I apologize for that. It’s not like the goings on in the world haven’t given me enough fodder, but for obvious reasons I have been otherwise preoccupied. For the new subscribers I would recommend you check out my last post: The Labyrinthian World of (Fake) Book Reviews, in which I deal with the critical issue of reader reviews. Reviews drive the analytics used by many booksellers, including Amazon, and it is something that we indie authors live and die by. If you take a moment to read the post, you will see just how crucial you are, not just to me, but to all authors. When you are done, please take a moment and leave a review over at Amazon.
ORDER OF BOOKS – I would like to take this opportunity to let subscribers to the Newsletter know that, if you are new to reading my novels, they all feature a stand-alone plot, but they also include inter-connecting sub-plots. If you are looking to get the most out of the series then I highly recommend that you read them in order, beginning with Perfect Pawn.
That concludes this month's newsletter. If you would like to be added to our monthly newsletter, please click on the CONNECT link and remember to refer us to your friends.
For now, I wish you all a wonderful summer and I’ll see you all back in September.