Researching my book was twelve years of fun that seemed never ending. Four more years of writing the book was like working in a heaven of my own making. Every day a multitude of historic people came to life, just for me. All of them long gone, I never had known them personally before. Working together, they gave me their all. My spirit was blissful. We were the tightest.
But now, all the people from history who emerged from my research boxes have turned against me. Today they are making my life a misery. I’m in editorial Hell. And they are pissed.
First, they begged me to tell their stories. And I did. Story followed story. One book became two. Now, two books will become three, then four, and maybe even five books. If I live long enough to write all five books, I still will never be able to tell all of their stories contained in my boxes of research.
They and I both realize my editorial dilemma. Every day, they whine. They plead. They stomp their feet. They insist I tell every detail of their lives. I respond, telling them I can’t. A book has its limits. Even five books have a limit. Still they’re pissed.
In these photos, you can see how I’ve incurred their wrath. My problem right now is to reduce everything I’ve written into the size of a book that is no more than 150,000 words. That alone is one big book, but still readable with plenty of substance to enjoy.
You see my numerous boxes of research. Next you see the total raw manuscript for my book that must be edited to size. Next you see the edited manuscript as it’s reduced to the desired size of the printed book. Finally, you see the mock-up of the book cover and interior layout.
I think my book is looking pretty good. But never underestimate the power of the Jesse James family to confound expectation. Those dead people are pissed. For 125 years the family of Frank and Jesse James did everything they could to keep their story from public view. Now, with the book almost ready for publication come spring, they’re pissed because the book isn’t a tell-all, but is rather a tell y’all.