Tag Archives: ePublish

About Facing the Son, a Novel of Africa

1: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I wanted to go back in time to the West Africa I traveled in the early eighties.  It was a different place than today. The risk to white, western, or European travelers was not as pronounced.  The US State Department didn’t warn to stay in the main cities.  Such as it was, I got around without the sense that my mere presence would incite trouble.

Plus I wanted to tell a story about a father trying to find and repair his relationship with his son, a subject close to my heart.

So I set the story in a place and time that was familiar to me, and struggled with a father’s journey not only though the territory but through his own feelings and past behavior.

2: What genre does your book come under?

Let’s say Adventure, or possibly Family Adventure.

3: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I could see Jeff Daniels as Matt, the midwestern father in search of his son.  Maybe Chris Rock as Jean-Louis, the angry concierge.  Mary Steenburgen as Melanie, Matt’s ex-wife, organizing the trip to force the two men in her life to come back together.

4: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Matt Reiser fulfills his ex-wife’s request to travel to west Africa in search of their estranged son, and upon arrival he is drugged, robbed, and left penniless and paperless in an Abidjan slum.

So starts the book and Matt’s journey of discovery.

5: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My book is self-published.  And I plan on self-publishing all my books, even if I get lucky and one turns out to be a hit.  I like the independence.  And I will remain a GREAT fan of all independents.

6: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about eight weeks.  Revision can take me many months more, depending on how much time I have to devote to remake and rework the story, the characters, and the language throughout.  I reworked this story at least a dozen times over the course of eighteen months.

7: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I just wanted to write the kind of book I like to read.  Plus I really missed my son, and writing about those feelings a father has for his son allowed me to feel a little closer to him.

8: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Take a look at the headlines coming out of north Africa.  My characters are amalgams of some of the people I met and got to know over the course of my travels through the territory.  There was always a tremendously strong and prevalent feeling about the former French colonists, and this I noticed and felt constantly.  There was and still is a seething animosity toward that chapter of history.  It’s not surprising to see that historical and cultural resentment flare up as it has recently.

If you’re interested in looking a little bit deeper into the territory through the eyes of fictional characters, then this is the book for you.

Now!  Let’s get to know this great new novelist:

Tom Gething


PASADENA PAYBACK published today

PASADENA PAYBACK, a crime novel, is the first in my series of Pasadena Crime Novels.

Crispín Gomez Diaz runs cash between Pasadena and Nogales to pay off his missing brother’s old debt. He has family in Los Angeles and in Sinaloa, and he does what he’s told to keep his family safe from retribution.

While Crispín is leaving on his final run for his Pasadena payer, joyriding barrio boys swipe his backpack not knowing that it carries a small fortune hidden among the contents. Crispín has thirty-six hours until his appointment in Nogales. If he shows without the cash he’s dead; if he doesn’t show, his family is.

Meanwhile, Crispin’s undocumented status becomes a behind-the-scenes issue in a local political contest. The gardener no one noticed suddenly becomes popular when he needs to remain invisible until he tracks down his backpack.

Dirty debts, raw ambition, and old loyalties collide in this fast-moving tale of honor and payback.


The editors at Goodreads authorized me, so now I have an author page.


Goodreads in their own words: Goodreads is the largest social network for readers in the world. We have more than 5,100,000 members who have added more than 150,000,000 books to their shelves. A place for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006.

It’s a good site to keep track of your reading, plan your future reading, interact with like-minded – or unlike-minded – readers, and stumble on good reads of all kinds.  Independents and established publishers alike populate the pages, though the big names tend to dominate as you would expect.  Some favorite authors have set up pages and keep them current with events like live discussions.  If you enjoy good books, Goodreads will have something for you.

Check it out.

e Published

May 31 – Put the finishing format touches on Facing the Son, a Novel of Africa, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/63401 and uploaded it to Smashwords.  After eighteen months of writing, the helpful comments of about a dozen readers, researching, editing, seven rewrites, and a few copy edit runthroughs, it’s done.  The 88,000-word novel is out of my hands now.  It’s as good as I’m going to get it.  And I’m happy with the accomplishment.

So I put it out there for readers on a bigger scale.  Readers who don’t know me, who can tell me if and how the story survives its telling.  I learned a terrific amount about writing fiction by sticking with this project from idea through to final draft.  I have already applied what I’ve learned to the next novel, Coyote Nightmare, which I plan to release – epublish – in September 2011.  That gives me about three months to complete the rewrites and the polish.  The 90,000-word mss. is on my desk.

Smashwords is still “reviewing” my submission.  They need to accept my formatting before passing the work through to their Premium Distribution Status, which is a required step prior to onward distribution to their affiliates such as Kindle, Apple, Sony, Kobo, etc.  In the meantime I uploaded directly to Kindle Publishing, and they too are reviewing my status.  I’m waiting on you guys.

So far about fifty views and one download.  Champagne still on ice.  Other than a feeling of accomplishment, nothing much to celebrate.  Smashwords says most their published authors don’t sell a single copy.  So that’s a possibility.  But I’m planning to do better than that.

Persistence, determination, and grit.  In the end it’s all up to you, isn’t it?