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Friday, April 8, 2011

And it came to pass

Well, I've decided to start a saga by the name of "Getting Attwood Published."

It's a saga that's been going on for more decades than I care to admit, but let's start with the latest chapters, which began in the winter of 2007.

I got canned summer 2005. My whole department of University Relations at The University of Kansas Medical Center got whacked. I was the director. Unemployment compensation is really helpful. Getting all the unused sick time and vacation leave was a nice chunk. Dip into 401 K if needed at a 10 percent off-the-top tax penalty because I wasn't 59 1/2. We went to Italy for a month. That was nice.

Did a little of this and a little of that. Freelance writing. Stories published as cover stories in the Sunday Star magazine ($200, whoo! whoo!). My completed novels were not getting any agents interested, let alone publishers. Major self doubt and plenty of time to explore same. I thought my stuff was pretty good. But maybe I was self-delusional. And that equals despair. Out of that despair was born Vote for Me!

Could I make a reader laugh? Easiest judge of success.

Vote flowed out of my fingers in three months time. Sure made me laugh. As Fred Underwood, a contract small package delivery man, hatched his scheme to game the political system to make money, all the plot elements came together and a host of fun characters inhabited my brain and then the paper.

Late that summer two ladies down the street decided to sell their house and move to single-floor living. I knew them through an acquaintance. I knew they were literary agents for non-fiction. I reintroduced myself and mentioned that I understood they specialized in non-fiction. Yes, but they were considering taking on fiction. So I mentioned that I had a manuscript and saw that wince in their eyes, but they would read it.

Joanie Shoemaker and Jo-Lynne Worley,, loved it and wanted to represent me and provided editorial suggestions, which I heeded. They are still trying to sell it for me and we have hopes, but at their suggestion I'm doing the e-publishing route. I have time now. In 2008 I got hired at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in Kansas City as the media relations officer. (Dear Dad in the next plane of existence: You were wrong. That art history degree did come in handy.) I had a great three years there with many wonderful and interesting people, but decided to retire at the end of 2010. Well, semi-retire. I still do part time work for them and have other irons in other fires. But I do have more time now to explore e-publishing, about which I know nothing.

Joanie and Jo-lynn said do a blog, do facebook. Ask questions. Ask for help. Well, this is the start. Chime in anytime.


  1. Kudos to you on launching the next phase of your life as a writer. Welcome to the world of blogs. We'll chat soon. Cheers.

  2. Hey Randy,
    Hows cum you don't have any links to your writing artifacts? Like I'd click on "Vote" if I could. I mean the blog gives hints of your writing style but only that. So if you don't want to publish Vote, you could still be doing a little excerpt couldn't you?

    Or are you really just doing this blog to get direct hints about how to sell your work? (as opposed to building an audience)

    a fellow Kansan...Bobbi B