Rick Murcer is having real success navigating the unknown waters of authordom in this brave new publishing world–much as his hero navigates the Caribbean waters of Rick’s exotic setting. I’ve recommended Rick’s novel in a cruise ship mysteries thread, one on travel mysteries, and on several that involve cops. Today Rick talks about that line between being a “real” writer and not–sometimes it’s thinner than we think.
Obviously, Made it Moments are a tad objective; everyone’s moment will be unique. But after reflecting on the question Jenny presented, I boiled it down to two no-brainer answers–my favorite kind. (Because we all know authors never overthink anything. By the way, is my picture good enough? How about the cover to Caribbean Moon? How about the blurb? Does this article make my butt look too big?)
Alright, enough of the fooling around, for now…maybe.
Back in 2002, my best friend died of a heart attack. Big Herb had some genetic problems, but my large buddy loved food more than his mortality and he left us far too early. A few months later, I wrote my first short story ever, Herb’s Home Run, trying to resolve my grief with his destiny. The story was published in Writers’ Journal Spring of 2003. At that point, I thought maybe I had something to offer. But work and family took precedent, so the writing became a Sunday morning ritual.
I was about halfway through my first novel, Berserker, when I lost my job. It took a few months to find another ball and chain, but during that time, something happened and I decided to see how I would do in the suspense/thriller genre. I wrote the first draft for Caribbean Moon in less than four months. Then another real job got in the way. I picked at writing for a few years, and then, surprise, I was out of work again! Crazy stuff here in Michigan.
I decided I’d better do something, so I finished Caribbean Moon. My wife and I edited it eight times (she does that stuff for a living) and then we were ready.
The first week we sold 35 books, the next week, 77. A couple of five-star reviews later and I floated away from my computer embracing that euphoric state that makes life worth living. I told my wife, “I think I can do this.” She smiled and said, “You already have.”
I remember saying to God that I hoped He wasn’t joking.
So far so good.
I live in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University. I’ve been married longer than my wife likes to admit, and have two grown children, three (almost) grandkids, and a blind black Lab named Max, who serves as my “writing” dog. He pushes me hard to get to the writing room each morning so he can snore on his rug while I do all the work!