In The Watershed – “coming soon”

Ages and ages ago, I wrote a mystery/thriller book based on the stories I grew up reading from Agatha Christie, Les Roberts, and Dan Simmons mixed with more modern bits. The book was ‘finished’ around 2014…

At the same time I wrote/edited/shopped a coming of age sports book called A Life of Inches. I signed with a small publisher for that book in late 2014 and the rest of that story is a head-scratching series of frustrating events, leading to the book arriving DOA. As I floundered, trying to promote the book and shop my mystery novel (set in the same world), I took a two year detour to play conga for Chuck Mosley. When he passed away in 2017, I was knocked back a million steps and felt completely lost and broken.

To help me make sense of the world, I started writing a book about my 20 year friendship with Chuck. It was around this time I tried explaining to my wife my many failings and how I still didn’t understand how to navigate a world in which I had failed so many times in so many ways.

In 2019, five years after finishing my mystery/thriller, I filmed a part in a found footage movie “Dwellers’, which helped me refocus on my creativity. I took another look at my mystery/thriller and realized I had much more life experience to inject into the story. This time, when I sent it out to agents, I got more interest, and signed on with one. She delivered the manuscript to a handful of publishers and we got a few rejections peppered with decent feedback. One publisher (a big one) expressed some interest and asked me to outline a potential sequel to the book.

I spent the Winter watching my Chuck book get released and fall on deaf ears, another gut-wrenching failure while I excitedly outlined a sequel/a book I hadn’t planned on being a thing. I really got excited over the set up and felt high hopes as I turned it in.

The publisher passed in the Spring of 2020 as the world shut down…many publishers suspended new manuscript procurement for an indefinite time. I jumped in to help my friend finish a hastily-made quarantine short film, “The Nutshell” which was fun, frustrating, and super educational for me. I also filmed a bit on a movie called “The Other Side of Darkness”.

As the world reopened in 2021, I reformed my old band The Firmary and tried like Hell to get the ball rolling (doesn’t anyone drum anymore?!). I lost touch with my agent, certainly getting the impression she had no desire to put anymore time into my mystery.

In 2023, Sara Panza roped me into filming a few clips for the Cleveland Auto Show to use on social media. Her being an editor and smart and all, i asked her to take a look at my mystery/thriller. She agreed and ended up sending me great notes for the first half of the book.

Now in 2024, ten years after the book was ‘completed’, I figure it is time to just push it out into the world and let it have a life outside of my head. I love this book, warts and all. I understand why it is harder to market then a traditional mystery, making it a tough sell to a traditional publisher, but I believe if people give it a chance they’ll dig it.

Skyler Willett over at Popgorn design created a kickass cover, which you can see below.

IN THE WATERSHED will be out in the world later this year. When? Good question. We have some more editing to do, but after that, out it comes. I’ll set up a presale link when I have a definite date, but I wanted to announce this now, so people could sign up to my email list and get the scoop. I plan on posting more about this book up through the release.

thanks all for sticking with this shell of a man as he tries to rejoin the living.

About douglasesper

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