72: I’m Looking for Readers

I’ve been pretty far off track on this blog lately. Over the last five weeks, I’ve written four posts – a far cry from the five times per week goal I set for myself. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I have. A lot, actually. It’s just that I’ve been writing books and I thought I’d take today to give an update on that and to ask for help from you.

By the end of this month, I will have complete two ghostwriting projects this year. The first, which is due tomorrow, is a project with an architecture firm that specializes in designing and constructing schools. It’s a cool project about changing the way we think of education from being a specific activity reserved for a limited and specific time in our lives to a life-long pursuit. This firm has been building schools for more than a century and is changing its business model to facilitate life-long, individualized learning, effectively changing the way we think about education from the macro (percentages of students who pass standardized tests) to the micro, finding ways to make individualized learning a whole life pursuit. It’s been a lot of work, but the project has opened my eyes to a lot of aspects of education I had never before considered. I look forward to sharing the book once it is available. If you have kids or an inkling of interest, I think you’ll find it fascinating.

The second ghostwriting project is one I’ve been working on – off and on – for the last three years. It’s a book I’m writing with Boyd Tinsley, the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band. I met Boyd through a convoluted and improbable set of circumstances that I’ll explain at a later time, but suffice it to say that working with a guy who has sold millions of albums and done more than 20 world tours has been eye-opening to say the least. I’m really excited about this project because, unlike other books by famous musicians, Boyd is not the hero of this story. It’s not a self-serving autobiographical list of accomplishments, but rather a non-fiction look at creativity and love, two forces that have influenced his life more than others and, quite literally, saved him from the cynicism and evil that often follow people of his stature. It’s called “We Come From the Heart: a journey of creativity and love in a mad, crazy world” and we’re hoping to have it released in early fall.

I’ve also completed a young reader book, “The Red-Eyed Monster Bass,” the first chapter of which I published on this blog a month ago, and a young adult novel, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” My plan with both of these is to publish via Amazon – Monster Bass on the 16th of this month and Wouldn’t It Be Nice on the 16th of next month.

I’ve also begun working on two adult series that I’m looking forward to sharing. The first follows Luke “Lucky” Bauer, a former Army helicopter pilot who earns a reputation as a man who can find things in civilian life. Think Clive Cussler meets Indiana Jones. The first book, “Diamond Rough,” takes the hero across continents in his 1947 Grumman Goose in search of a family heirloom with its own checkered past.

The second series follows Det. Jenn Houston, a rookie homicide cop who, in the first book “The Muirfield Incident,” finds herself immersed in a world of sex, social politics and murder in the quiet suburbs. This was the book I cooked up for the James Patterson co-author contest, which I did not win, but I liked the story so much that I’m going to write it anyway.

I have plans for three more books this year – another young reader, another novel and a non-fiction book – which means I’ve got a lot of writing to do.

Which, brings me to my request. As I’ve been writing, I’ve been getting occasional feedback from family members and that feedback has been extremely useful. Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but creating and telling stories is a group activity. So, I’m looking for readers, people willing to take unedited Word documents, read them and provide feedback. I can’t offer compensation, but I can tell you that I will consider all feedback earnestly and appreciate your effort beyond measure.

There are no qualifications necessary. You just have to be willing to read something, give me some notes and promise not to pass the document on. Ideally, I would have at least a couple of readers for every book and those who do will get a special gift from me when the book is published.

If you’re interested, please send me an email at letterstocraig(at)gmail(dot)com and put the word “reader” in the subject line. If you have a preference of genre – YR/YA/AF/ANF, please let me know in the body of the e-mail.

Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.

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