There are some Moments that require no intro. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the writing duo of Nash Black on various writing forums and blogs. They are real, approachable, warm people who never fail to have an encouraging word for a fellow writer or reader. But their Moment? Or should I say, Moments? It will say more than I could about what it takes to leap at a certain point, and follow your dream.
I’m old enough to have heard a multitude of put-down phrases aimed at detective/mystery authors. The innuendoes are intended to render the recipient a shot of guilt should they indulge in amoral anti-intellectual behavior.
1940s – You read mysteries and detective novels.
1950s – Paperbacks! They are indecent and vulgar.
1960s – Pulitzer prize winners are superior reading.
1970s – A good book is reviewed by the New York Times.
1980s – Vanity presses publish inferior books.
1990s – Print On Demand books are of dubious caliber.
2000s – E-books are amateurish ego trips.
2010s – What sells is not a barometer for quality.
A span of seventy years cover our reading lifetime. The majority of books we read and kept for our personal shelves to read again plopped into several of the above categories. We were card carrying members of a public who read for pleasure; stealing a few hours from full days to relax and let the author lead us to discover ‘who-done-it.’ We started writing like many late-life authors who were searching for a skillful mixture of red herrings and clues to match our wits against the reader’s.
Our dream was to be represented by an agent who would find a publisher for our work. After more than ten years of attempting to reach our goal we knew that for us, time was running out. Contrary to the loving advice of friends and family, we garnered our meager resources to self-published with a print on demand publisher. We enjoyed a few moments of fame, but sales dropped off as the mechanics of promotion changed for the world of books. The world of social media had arrived while we were still struggling to relearn the principles of advertising and marketing we’d last studied in 1958.
Our Made It Moment arrived the month we received a five star review from Australia for Sandprints of Death,with news from Ireland that another reader found the story enjoyable enough to read our previous titles. We were being read on a global scale at the same time the buyer for Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, KY purchased 3 copies of each of our books. The books sit on the shelves of the gift shop where they are physically exposed to nearly a million visitors per year.
It took one person to cross the dining room and ask us to sign her copy for our pens to shake. This experience gave us the impetus to step outside the norm and publish on our own with an imprint we’d been using for over twenty years for other publications.
IF Publishing’s first venture as an entity is Visitors–a holiday story now available on all electronic platforms with a paperback edition available as well.
“The greatest risk is not taking one” is from a Chinese fortune cookie.
When you are rushing toward your eighth decade you are free to choose your own path. When you know an action is right for you then take it and don’t look back. You will have your own Made It Moment and the put-downs of the previous decades will fade into oblivion.
Nash Black is the nom de plume for the married team of Ford Nashett and Irene Black. Their passion for writing and story telling has earned them award finalist status for Haints (ghost story collection) and Writing as a Small Business. Nash Black reviews books, mainly mysteries, on Amazon and at their blog. You can follow them on Twitter @Pennhand.
We thank Jenny Milchman for allowing us to share our experiences of writing and publishing from a senior perspective of those who are free to follow their dreams.