Mark is a one of a kind star in the Blogosphere, and a terrific friend. So it is a great pleasure to share his debut publication about America's Got Talent's Donald Braswell!
Watch this amazing audition clip from the show. Now take it away, Mark!
* * *Aloha,
Today, I dip my sword, throw my gauntlet and offer thanks to you, Sir David, for having me a-round the table today.
(You can’t make these jokes up, folks.)
Dave asked about the timeline of my new book, REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story. I only hope the answer won’t scare new writers: From idea to publishing took about six years.
But wait, there’s more!!
I first saw Donald during the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent. I reached out, and we eventually met in 2009.
Within several months, we nearly sold the unfinished book to one of the larger publishing houses, but as faith (or as Roland the Gunslinger calls it, “ka”) would have it, that deal and the only agent we ever had, fell through.
For about a year the whole project stalled, but I couldn’t let the book die. I truly believe that Donald’s journey is one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever heard.
So in 2011, we jumped back on the wagon and I finished the first draft.
The editing began.
Then, the queries.
The rejections, too.
In 2013, the project took a huge turn for the better, when friend and blogger, Michael Di Gesu agreed to read what was probably the fourth-eenth version.
Michael, God bless him, spent weeks on the draft and showed me how better REVIVAL could be, if only I went to first person, present tense (from third person, past tense.)
I ran this by Donald, who agreed, and off we went to the races to basically rewrite the entire manuscript.
In early 2014, the ms was “too long,” according to multiple agents and publishers who rejected the manuscript, sometimes on spec.
But then, in late 2014, came the wonderful email from our publisher, Duke Pennell, of Pen-L Publishing, who was intrigued by the proposal, liked the sample chapters and then loved the whole manuscript.
And here we are in late 2015, one week after REVIVAL published. It was a crazy ride.
(Let’s hope I can write and publish my next few books just a wee bit quicker.)
Any interesting bumps on your writing journey so far?
Next up on the Blog Tour is Elise Fallson, who asked about the process of picking pictures for the memoir, and MJ Fifield, who’s curious about the challenges involved in memoir writing.
About the Author:
Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night.