I took a break from teen literature for my latest book, which is retooling of a story I wrote many years ago.
You can read various versions of Kismet here at my website, as well as buy the $.99 version at Amazon (follow this link). Like all my stories, I fiddled with Kismet for many years, trying to get it right. It wasn’t until I read an article about Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth that I found the story’s proper Journey.
I first wrote Kismet in 1988, put it in a drawer and left it there until 2002 when I joined my local writing club. I shared the story with the group and they encouraged me to edit it. I did, with Joseph Campbell’s structured framework as a guide. Then the group encouraged me to self-publish it for a group book show and sale. So, I used a desktop publishing program on my computer to format the pages, and then I printed them from my printer. The story was too long for me to bind its pages with staples, so I edited it to a shortened version. I even shortened the names of some of my characters along the way. I was able to staple the new version, so I printed 20 copies until I ran out of ink.
Kismet became an instant local bestseller and some customers even asked me to autograph their copies. I sold all 20 copies at $10 each, gave most of the money to the club’s treasury, and set about writing more books. I haven’t looked back since.
The book’s eerie Ridgewood, Pennsylvania, is based on my earlier creation, Ravenwood. Both are fictional towns based on the town where I grew up. Although my hometown was never as spooky as either Ravenwood or Ridgewood, it did have a peculiar abundance of “haunted” houses and stray black cats running the streets.
Finally, a heartfelt Thanks to all of you who have taken time to read my stories and email me with criticism and encouragement. This really means a lot to me, knowing that you care about my stories.