Finished, Finally !!!!

Potential Book Cover

As in life writing a book has many hills and valleys. I was hoping to finish my book #Leaving Cleveland, last year but my editor and I parted ways, he is trying to finish his historical fictional novel and I felt he need to put all his attention to finishing his book, rather than putting my off for months.

Lucky for me, my sister in law has a doctorate in Poetry from NYU and is a big fan of my book, volunteered to do the final edit, and after two months it is complete….hooray!!!!! The next challenge is finding a literary agent that is the ” right fit” for my fictional memoir. I have been going through the website and have gotten a couple of nice rejections but still waiting to hear from others.

This may be bad luck but I did connect with an LA producer who is looking at the book. We had a good conversation and he feels the book may make a good film…I imagine I will have an answer from him by the end of the summer. Although, I would prefer for the book to be published first, if someone. like #Steven Spielberg wants to make a movie out of it I am not going to say NO! In truth I think this book would be a good fit for Speilberg being that it explores the effects of American children born to #holocaust survivors and how, even though they did not experience first hand the horrors of the concentration camps, their lives and choices are influenced by the trauma. Not to mention Steven Spielberg is a fellow Ohioan and has a great first name:)

Not to worry this book is not a downer to read…it is actually funny, quirky and a real ” page turner” I’ve been told. It is not formulaic and you will have to read till the end to ” find out” what Mark Cohen decides to do for the rest of life. Other comments from my group of “readers” about the book is that it really captures NYC in the 1980s. Little know fact from my agent in LA is that books set in a different era can cost up to 15million more to produce to create an accurate account of the time period. I don’t think the 1980’s will cost that much more…just need to find answering machines and a good costume designer…

Self publishing, my last resort….I will be giving it a year to find an agent/publisher before I consider self publishing…Not that self publishing is not a viable option. I believe in the book and feel it should be out there so I will do whatever it takes to bring it to the public. In the meantime I will be publishing excerpts, teasers….starting with my next post. So please sign up for blog to keep informed and get FREE excerpts from LEAVING CLEVELAND.

In the meantime stay well and please share this post. I promise to be posting once a week, not that I have some free time and am not writing a book….


The Spark

It was 3 am and I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about what I was doing with my life. I had just ended a relationship with a photo school I was teaching at, and it didn’t go well. I had moved my family to Missoula, Montana, thinking it was the right thing to do, I had a job offer in Missoula, and raising two little kids in a city just didn’t seem like a good idea. We also moved to help my wife’s elderly parents. Now, I had lost my job, fortunately my wife had hers. I was grieving the fact that I had left a good job in Philadelphia, teaching at the. University of Pennsylvania School of Design for the promise of a more serene life in the mountains. I had never lived west of Ohio and considered Montana a flyover state. Never did I ever imagine I would live in a rural state. Self doubt was churning in my brain.

I got out of bed and headed down to the basement, where my office was, booted up the computer and opened up Word. I am not sure what possessed me but I just started writing. I remembered Jack Kerouac writing somewhere that it was his brother who had died at the age of 9 who channeled Kerouac. He claimed it was his brother who wrote, not him. Maybe it was my sister who died at the age of 32 who was channeling me. I started recalling the events in my life in NYC that landed me an assisting job with the world famous portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz. It was one of those things in your life that if you would have turned left instead of right it would have never happened. Chance, luck or maybe even fate, whatever the reason it was worth writing about. I was getting tired of people always asking me ” what was it like to work with Annie?” What I realized, as I kept writing, is that the story really wasn’t about working with Annie, it was about Sam Cohen, the protagonist of the story, and the journey he had to take to truly understand his past, growing up in Cleveland, the son of a holocaust survivor and a mother who tried her best to fill in but was battling her own demons and his place in the world.

This is blog about that journey, fact and fiction. After all as a novelist I can imagine all sorts of scenarios of ” what if”. For me it was about telling a good story and one that I hope the reader will enjoy reading the funny, absurd and touching moments of an unchartered life.

A photo of a very happy Annie Leibovitz on a boat ride off the coast of Seattle.