My First Self-Published Flop

The Burning Light of Two Stars will be my seventh published book. Actually, the eighth if you count the self-published workbook/audio series I created twenty years ago, a companion to my book, I Thought We’d Never Speak Again. I created the workbook long before self-publishing was a popular, viable option for authors, when it was basically synonymous with the idea of a vanity press—a company that took advantage of people desperate to get their work in print—charging high fees, not vetting the work, and creating shoddy products.

When I self-published The Last Frontier: Is Reconciliation Possible After Sexual Abuse?, included in the large green plastic folio it came in were twelve cassettes, interviews I’d done with sexual abuse survivors about the successful and failed attempts at reconciliations with their families. Cassettes, right? You can see how old this venture was.

The tape/workbook I created was a failure, one of many failures in my life. The thing is, when you’re a successful author, and I have no trouble claiming that mantle—I have sold two million books after all—people don’t hear about all the projects that fell off the cliff and died. For me, this was one of them. The green folios were large. Only six or eight of them could fit in the large cartons that got shipped to my house. The boxes lived in infamy in my daughter Lizzy’s closet, taking up perfectly valuable real estate for YEARS, space she could have used for her shoes or for her fairy collection or her clothes or for any number of other things she treasured and collected during her growing up years. “Moooomm! Can’t you take those damn books out of the back of my closet?” But I never did.

In any case, it’s been eighteen years since that project died and nineteen years since the publication of I Thought We’d Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation, my last traditionally published book.

I’m not the kind of writer who writes every day or produces a lot. Although I love to write as a tool for self-awareness, venting, self-expression and lots of other personal reasons, I haven’t produced anything significant for publication for a LONG time.

Any writing teacher can tell you this. When your life force goes into inspiring other peoples’ words and your mind is full of other peoples’ stories, it’s nearly impossible to generate your own.

But The Burning Light of Two Stars demanded to be written. And so, for more than a decade, I have carried that flame. And now, the book that I’ve written and rewritten for so long has a pub date: October 19, 2021.

My little dream is becoming a book. And it’s only six months away!

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