Flashback to my first published novel
By Jeff Salter
Looking back over my use of the 4F1H “free” weeks, I see that I’ve given scant attention to my first published novel, “The Overnighter’s Secrets.” It was actually my seventh completed novel, but the first to receive a contract, from the lovely Stephanie Taylor at Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). Yep, I had six other complete orphans raring to go before my seventh novel finally found a home.
Written (and revised) during roughly the middle six months of 2011, T.O.S. had a contract by the end of that year, went through months of extensive editing, and saw its release in May of 2012. By the end of 2012, T.O.S. was also in paperback… and was subsequently brought to life also as an audio book.
Long before Shane acquired the overnighter, a silent movie actress kept secrets there. Is Beth’s terrifying ordeal simply because she unwittingly possesses the overnighter’s secrets? “The Overnighter’s Secrets.” Suspense novel, only $2.99 in digital formats; paperback also available (varied prices); audio version also available (price varies). Clean Reads, 2012.
Over three years ago, I blogged about the origins of this story, how it brought me into contact with the granddaughter of the silent movie actress who’d owned the material I was examining, etc. That blog is here, if you’re interested:
In the sequence of my actual writing: though it was published before any of these others, this seventh novel followed three in the Somerset Series (including Called to Arms Again and Hid Wounded Reb), the two screwball comedies in the series Amanda Moore or Less (Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold and Scratching the Seven-Month Itch), and my first foray into first person fiction (Rescued by That New Guy in Town). After T.O.S was well along in the editing process, I finally began re-working those first six manuscripts and five have since been released!
One of the ironies of T.O.S. is that it was the novel I did not have time (or, initially, the interest) to write. I was very busy with overhauling and revising and submitting those other six books… as well as dabbling on other new stories. I explain this further in my Author’s Notes to T.O.S., but if not for the gentle persuasion and infectious energy of my friend Dean Spradlin, it’s possible I would not have done anything with this story about the overnighter’s secrets.
Have you ever had a project that sort of sneaked up on you and you tried to brush it away because your time was too strained or your interest focused elsewhere?
[JLS # 282]