Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WW Featured Writer: Steve Umstead

"There it was, available for sale to anyone with an ereader, anywhere in the world. Out came a couple of glasses of wine, and we toasted to the fact that my novel, the one I had been wanting to write for over twenty years, just got published. I have to say, that was a very significant feeling."

~Steve Umstead

Life is funny.  We never know the paths we'll cross.  We make friends in unexpected places.  Sometimes, we connect with people we'd never have imagined meeting.  And sometimes, those unexpected connections rapidly morph into meaningful friendships.  It's a pretty cool experience, in my opinion.

I wake up to a handful of new twitter followers each morning.  Out of the handful, the majority are spambots.  The rest are typically those who follow 80,000 people to in hopes of recruiting as many followers as possible.  They have no intention of actually communicating; I'm simply a stat.

Because of this trend, connecting with with real people has become even more significant.  That's exactly what happened when I met Steve Umstead.

Steve's an awesome person.  Actually, awesome sounds weak, but I'm having no luck choosing a more powerful word.  It's possible the word carrying the right magnitude does not exist.  So for now, let's go with awesome.

The man wears many hats.  He's a husband and father.  For the past ten years, he's owned a Caribbean and Mexico travel company.  He's an avid reader and sports fan.  And, most recently, he is a published author of science fiction.

Gabriel's Redemption is Steve's debut novel.  The first draft of his e-book, which totaled just over 64,000 words, was written during NaNoWriMo 2010.  From there, Steve entered the incubation period, distancing himself from the manuscript before diving into the editing pool.  "Jumped in feet-first," he said.  "Crushing my original manuscript. Paring it, adding to it, changing it, laughing at it, crying over it, drowning it in red wine, all the while tweeting and retweeting, blogging and reading blogs, until January 31st hit, and I put a big fat DONE stamp on it."

With a background in business and marketing, Steve devoted a lot of time and thought to the best way to pursue publication.  After extensive research and consideration, he opted to take the self-publishing route, feeling it was the best option for him and would deliver his baby the way he felt appropriate.

If you visit Steve's website, you can read his five-part series on his self-publishing journey.  Aside from being an interesting read, Steve walks readers through the ins and outs of self-publication.  It is especially beneficial for anyone considering this route for their own work.

Gabriel's Redemption is available for purchase in electronic format. For a limited time, it is available on Amazon.com for the Kindle for only $0.99.  It is also available from BN.com for the Nook and from Smashwords for other ereader devices.

Steve's journey to publication is both inspiring and motivating.  I consider him one of the best writer friends I've recently made, and am humbled by the friendship and support he extends in my direction...as well as the tropical beverages and beers he tweets me from Mexico.  Now, if only I could figure out how to get them out of cyberland; I'm working on that one.

Every writer takes their own journey.  Considering the obligations and responsibilities Steve finds on his plate daily, I'm in awe of his ability to remain a consistent, dedicated writer.  Writing, working, and parenting simultaneously is no easy task.

He doesn't know this, but Steve has really pushed me through some bumps in my own writing project.  He's one of those people who helps me believe my goals are possible - he's a loyal supporter of my blog and has gone to great lengths to know me as a person. People like that get me in ways I can't describe; they boost my confidence and remind me I'm working toward an obtainable goal.  Steve has become a permanent part of my writing journey and I'm happy he's joining me for the ride.  As far as I'm concerned, the people you meet along the way are just as important as the finished product itself.

I encourage everyone to get to know one of the friendliest writers out there.  He's cool, he's funny, and has a great personality.  You can visit his website, follow him on twitter, or friend him on facebook.  You can also 'like' his facebook author page to remain updated on his latest writing accomplishments. 

5 comments:

  1. Thank you both for providing signs on the highway that we're all on!

    Alex
    Breakfast Every Hour

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  2. WOW, 99 cents! That's a super deal. :) Thanks for the post to introduce Steve and his novel. Best wishes for good sales and reviews on Gabriel's Redemption, Steve!

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  3. I love finding out about more great writers! Just followed him on twitter. Thanks, Paul!

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  4. Steve is a great guy to get to know and Gabriel's Redemption is superlative Science Fiction! Get your copy and devour it the way I did and you'll be hooked for life, begging Steve to write more!

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  5. Thanks for introducing us to Steve and for the full meal of good vibes from your post.

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