Writers Tricks of the Trade Volume 7, Issue 4 Winter 2018 - Page 21

Life Stories A N U NEXPECTED T URN : H OW R ADIO F OUND M E J AMES K ELLY , H OST OF A SPECTS OF W RITING I began writing at an early age, but did not take it seriously until I was almost 40. I released my first book, The Emblem in 1995. It was a self-published govern- ment espionage novel. This was before the giants of the internet like Amazon Kin- dle, Create Space, Ingram Sparks and Lighting Source even existed. Self-publishing was not the norm. As a self-published author, it wasn’t easy to get your book into a store. Perhaps ignorance of the business was my best ally. At that time I found myself making phone calls and approaching bookstore chains that I never would have if I under- stood how they acquired their inventory. Independent stores were the most re- ceptive. Nonetheless, I somehow managed to get Barnes and Noble, and the now defunct Borders Books, to carry my effort as a novelist. My first book signing event at a local Borders Books was so successful it turned into a monthly lecture on self- publishing. 77 attended – not Ann Rice noteworthy, but not shabby, either. I called the lecture event “Aspects of Writing.” Little did I know that my monthly meeting at that Borders Books would become the foundation for what eventually turned into a radio show. The lecture series lasted for a year and a half. Several of the in- dividuals who attended my lecture group went on to write and self-publish their own work. I have maintained a longs