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Monday, February 16, 2015

Update On The Release of Mukhabarat, Baby!

Link: New Website For The Release Of Mukhabarat, Baby!

I am so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to ask about the release of my memoir, "Mukhabarat, Baby!"  When I finished writing the book, I believed that I had accomplished something positive, and the rest of the process was cut-and-dry.  I knew that I needed a Publisher, and that was about it.  It became apparent to me early on that the fact that I had been poisoned by a Russian during my career and survived, would be of interest to a great many folks.  But I also learned quickly that finding the Publisher was last on a list of things that I needed to do, if I ever wanted my book to be on sale.  I needed some guidance regarding a story that consists of thirty or so separate reflections from my life.  A close friend of mine recommended, "Scottsdale Publishing" of Arizona, as just the right people to talk to.  She was correct, as for a very reasonable price, they helped me develop the connecting vein of my book, which draws every refection together into one story. Then I needed a really sharp Editor (thanks, Jennifer).  The book had to be submitted to my former employer, who reviewed my writing in order to eliminate anything that they considered to be confidential U.S. Government information.  This process, which included getting any potential photos approved as well, took nearly eight months.  After the USG review, I spent a month trying to repair the manuscript and bring it back to life.  With the constant and selfless support of my friends and family, I was able to sew the memoir back together, and it actually reads better than it did previously (thanks, Publishing Review Board?).

Once I reached the stage of having a finished/edited written product, I started to focus more on the marketing of my book. Thank goodness for Joe Golderg, who had finished his wonderful book, "Secret Wars", as I was still editing mine. Forgive me for repeating myself, but if you haven't purchased a copy of Joe's book (and you enjoy an exciting,  reality-based race around Europe and North Africa), do yourself a favor and pop on over to Amazon and buy it!  That is, of you want to know what it is really like being on the inside, looking out.  I've given the book as a gift a number of times, and I've written a review.  Its not in my nature to make such an effort unless I truly believe in something.  Aside from his great book, Joe was able to give me a basic idea regarding what I needed to do before my book could go on sale.  I needed a Media/Press Pack.  Let me tell you about the Media Pack.  If you write a book, and you want members of the media to conduct an interview/review of your book, its more or less expected that you provide them with a little assistance beforehand.  The Media Pack (I borrowed Joe's example and included my Media Pack in a new website for "Mukhabarat, Baby!").  Included in the pack is a personal biography, a basic synopsis of the story, whatever reviews you can pull together, and a list of "sample questions and answers", to provide the press with a few suggestions regarding Q&A.  Jennifer to the rescue!  My friend Jennifer put together my website and I could not be happier.  Its safe to say that I get by with a little help from my friends!

The publishing issue is still up in the air, so to speak.  A number of well-known media outlets have expressed an interest in conducting an interview, but we have yet to make any firm decisions.  I have provided a few carefully selected individuals with a copy of the book, and I must say, the overall result has been better than I could have ever expected.  I'm so relieved and humbled to say, that people really like my book.  I wish the process weren't so lengthy, but we do see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I expect to have the book available for purchase within the next two months.  Please stay with me.  I'm not thrilled that it is taking so long, but my book is better because of the process, and in the end, I want to provide the best product possible.

"Mukhabarat, Baby!"(MB)  is not one story supported by thirty separate chapters.  It is thirty separate and distinct stories that share one important commonality: they are pieces of my life, that I chose to share because of the personal interaction and the particular environment.  The people you will meet, and the experiences you will share, have made me strong enough to survive a number of monumentally difficult circumstances.  I have made it through to the other side because of the various, unique personalities functioning in less-than-normal situations that color every chapter and every page of my book.  Its true that most of my career was spent in war zones, and that background is unavoidable throughout the majority of MB.  Espionage is also a large part of the foundation to my stories.  But in the end, the book works because of the personalities within.  God bless them all, no doubt they saved my life more than a few times.

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