I’m delighted to welcome William Myers, with a guest post about the ups and downs of getting his first book published. It’s also the release day of his second novel An Engineered Injustice.
Here’s the synopsis…..
When a passenger train derails in North Philadelphia with fatal results, idealistic criminal defense attorney Vaughn Coburn takes on the most personal case of his young career. The surviving engineer is his cousin Eddy, and when Eddy asks Vaughn to defend him, he can’t help but accept. Vaughn has a debt to repay, for he and his cousin share an old secret—one that changed both their lives forever.
As blame for the wreck zeros in on Eddy, Vaughn realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. Seeking the truth behind the crash, he finds himself the target of malicious attorneys, corrupt railroad men, and a mob boss whose son perished in the accident and wants nothing less than cold-blooded revenge. With the help of his ex-con private investigator and an old flame who works for the competition, Vaughn struggles to defeat powerful forces—and to escape his own past built on secrets and lies.
My first full-length novel was A Criminal Defense. After I completed it, I sent some query letters to publishers but never heard back, so the book sat on the shelf for two years. Then, one day, I was at a professional conference of lawyers who do the same kind of legal work I do and I ran into a colleague, Anderson Harp, who was a published author. I explained to him that I had written a novel, and had sent query letters to publishers but never heard back. Andy told me I never would hear back; publishers pay no attention to unsolicited work. He told me that the key to getting something published was to get an agent. The conversation continued:
Me: That’s great. How do I get an agent?
Andy: You can’t.
Me: I can’t?
Andy: Is your next door neighbor an agent? Do they like you?”
Me: No, on both counts.
Andy: Then, you can’t get an agent.
I said that can’t be; lots of writers had agents. They had to get them somehow. Eventually, Andy relented and revealed that the secret to getting an agent was to first hire an editor. The traditional publishing houses, he explained, used to have very deep benches of editors. But with all the upheaval and contractions in the publishing world, many of these editors—really great, accomplished editors—were on their own. Generously, Andy put me in touch with his personal editor—Ed Stackler. Andy told me that Ed was a blue-chip editor with the highest pedigree and it would be great for me if Ed would agree to look at my novel and, if he felt it worthy, to edit it.
When I first spoke with Ed, he agreed to look at the book and tell me whether it was worth editing. If so, he said he would edit it, but would not send it to an agent. Getting it to an agent was important to me, but I agreed to send him the manuscript even if he wouldn’t help with that part of it, simply to see if the book was potentially publishable, or was pure dredge.
A month after I sent the book, Ed got back to me and said the book was worth editing and he would be glad to do so. I said, “But you still won’t send it to an agent?” He said in fact, he would, and explained that he initially told me he would not because he didn’t want to get my hopes up, and much of what’s out there isn’t very good.
So Ed Stackler edited A Criminal Defense, and got it into the hands of agent Cynthia Manson, who agreed to represent me, and who sent it to Gracie Doyle at Thomas and Mercer, an Amazon imprint. Amazon did a two-book deal. A Criminal Defense was published in March of 2017 and ended up being a 2017 Amazon Kindle top-10 best seller. The second novel, An Engineered Injustice comes out January 23, 2018.
The whole process has felt like a whirlwind. I knew nothing about the industry and had to be schooled on everything. It’s been exhausting, but exhilarating. I have learned a lot, and feel incredibly blessed to have hooked up with such amazing and hardworking people as Ed, Cynthia, Gracie, and the whole team at Thomas and Mercer.
William L. Myers, Jr. is a 2017 top 10 selling Amazon Kindle author for his debut novel. He might be new to the literary community but once you pick up his legal thriller and best-selling novel, A Criminal Defense, it becomes obvious he is not new to the intricacies of the legal profession. Open A Criminal Defense and you’ll find yourself lost in a labyrinth of deceits and hidden agendas, a world where everyone has a secret. You never know what is going to happen next or when the plot is going to take another unexpected turn. Don’t miss his second book An Engineered Injustice coming out in January. You’ll really feel what it’s like to be a young attorney in the trenches, beating the streets, against all odds. Born in 1958 into a blue-collar family, Mr. Myers inherited a work-ethic that propelled him through college and into the Ivy League at The University of Pennsylvania School of Law. From there, Mr. Myers started his legal career in a Philadelphia-based mega defense firm. After ten years defending corporate America, he realized his heart wasn’t in it. So, with his career on the fast track to success–he gave it all up and started his own firm. It was time to start fighting for the common guy. That was twenty-five years ago and since then, he has focused on representing railroad employees and other honest, hard-working people who have been injured by others. He has represented thousands of clients in his tenure and has become a highly-regarded litigation attorney up and down the Eastern Seaboard.