Monday, May 12, 2014

From Idea to Published in 18 Months and Ten Steps
Operation Valuable Fiend
(Arcade Publishing, 2014)
June 3, 2014, marks a significant milestone in my writing career. On this date, Operation Valuable Fiend was released to the public, thus culminating an 18-month process that started on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012.
I have enjoyed immensely the experience of working on this project for the past 18 months, which can also be expressed in the following units: 559 days; 13,416 hours; 804,960 minutes; or 48,297,600 seconds (not that I am counting...).
Although I had written and published several books before, in many ways, it felt like I was going through the process for the first time. All my previous books had been prescriptive how-to books designed for a narrow audience of software systems designers and programmers.
Operation Valuable Fiend is a historical narrative of CIA's first paramilitary action in its history and is written for a much wider audience interested in intelligence, military, Cold War history and similar subjects. Not only was this an entirely different topic for me, but I also needed a different genre (narrative non-fiction is the technical term), different style of writing, a different publisher, and so on.
As a sort of countdown to the June 3 release of the book, in the coming days I will blog about the ten key steps in the process that carried me from start to finish. Namely:
I will keep things simple and I will describe what worked for me and how. If a book idea is lurking in the back of your mind, I hope these posts will encourage you to bring it up and out in the world.
Stay tuned for the next post describing Step 1: Coming up with the Idea.