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My First Novel, 19 Years in the Making

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Image by Vindaloo

Over the past few months I babbled about a secret project in blog posts now and then. It’s time to lift the curtain and reveal the project. I intend to release a science fiction novel at the end of summer.

Here’s some more babble for you. Exodus (Book One of the Fundamentalists) has been 19 years in the making. Nineteen fricking long years.

But first let me thank Patrick Ashamalla and A Brand New Way for this incredible new web design. It’s a responsive design offering unique experiences for the traditional web, tablet and mobile visitors. Check it out!

The new site accommodates Exodus with both its own section and RSS feed. The book will be available for purchase in both print and electronic editions, and will use the RSS feed to publish each chapter over a course of 70 days. Empowering people to read the book for free is a side benefit of independent publishing. If you want a preview copy in late July/early August, sign up for book updates, too.

I hope you enjoy the new experience, and thank you for continuing to read my stuff. Now, onto the book…

A Tale of Two Decades

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Exodus is the opening salvo in a science fiction trilogy that centers on the themes of utopia in a technological dark age, and the disruptive power of religious fundamentalism. In later entries to The Fundamentalists, the power of technology and principles of freedom are examined as the narrative progresses through steam punk to hard science fiction.

Exodus was first drafted in 1994 as my senior creative writing project at American University. My literature professor and mentor told me I’d be crucified if I published it. It has been refined six times since then, including a near miss with a publisher in 2004.

I believe Exodus has always been a keeper, one that just needed more wisdom as well as the ability to effectively deliver a captivating product.

All of this effort — an effort that is now finally coming to fruition — was necessary. Without it, I don’t believe the product would have been ready. Without the business books, social media marketing experiences, and yes, failed attempts to find a publisher nine years ago, I would not have found the courage to release book myself.

Reading Guy Kawasaki’s A.P.E. and C.C. Chapman’s Amazing Things Will Happen were the final pieces of motivation. The creative war fought within ended, and the final push began last January. I hired editorial support, and the rest is history.

Exodus may still fail. I know that. But I’ll be damned if I don’t follow my heart’s passion, and release this book.

I probably won’t blog about the novel itself again until August, but if you do read it, you’ll see some essay themes threaded in the text here and there.

Sign up if you’d like private updates. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Once again, thank you for continuing to read me through the years.

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  • Mark Dykeman

    Good on ya!

    • geofflivingston

      Thanks, Mark! How are you?

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    I. Am. So. Excited!!!!!!!! And so very very very proud of you. Now I am going to go sign up for everything :)

    • geofflivingston

      You rock. Thank you for being such a great supportive friend.

  • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

    You KNOW how excited I am about this Geoff! You should be so very proud of this amazing accomplishment: it will not fail. It simply cannot, because the success is in its very existence. Everything else is gravy. Love, hugs and happiness spilling over for you. Cheers! Kaarina

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you, Kaarina for everything you did to help me get here. Your coaching has been invaluable. I really appreciate it!

      • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

        I can’t tell you how much that means to me: more than you know. Humbled, honoured and grateful, and so very happy for you! xo

  • http://www.writerightwords.com/ Erin Feldman

    The secret’s finally out! ;)

    Really, though, I’m thrilled for you. It’s such an exciting thing to see work take shape.

    The cover art is beautiful.

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you for all of your work on the effort, Erin. And Aaron was a great recommend. He did a nice job.

      I am so amped, you have no idea!

      • http://www.writerightwords.com/ Erin Feldman

        I’m happy to hear that!

        I can only imagine how excited you are if I’ve had to mute myself several times.

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    Mazal Tov. This is very cool.

    • geofflivingston

      Thanks uch, Josh. Hope you are doing well?

  • http://judyleedunn.com/ Judy Lee Dunn

    Oh, wow, Geoff. This is very exciting. And what a timely topic/theme. From the way you describe your novel, the world is ready for this book. Would love to see a preview copy. : )

    • geofflivingston

      We can make that happen. Just sign up, and you shall receive!

  • Neicole Crepeau

    That is awesome, Geoff! I applaud you for going for it. I am so impressed and I wish you the absolute best of luck with the novel!!

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you, Neicole. I’m scared out of my wits, but thrilled at the same time. It’s an adventure!

  • Allen Mireles

    Good for you, Geoff. Please and impressed to read this update.

    • geofflivingston

      Thanks much, Allen! I hope all is well with you.

  • http://www.jasonkonopinski.com/ Jason Konopinski

    This is super exciting – and I can’t wait to get my paws on it. I’m proud to know you, amigo.

    • geofflivingston

      Thanks, bro. I’ll smoke a Padron tonight because of this conversation!

      • http://www.jasonkonopinski.com/ Jason Konopinski

        I’ll smoke one from afar.

  • Cision NA

    Congrats, Geoff! That is very exciting news; any time you follow your dreams, success has already happened :) Looking forward to reading it! Perfect timing with summer reading season :)

    Best,
    Lisa

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you, Lisa. Please say hi to Heidi for me, and I hope to see you guys soon. You’re lucky to have Shonali on board!

      • Cision NA

        You’re welcome, and I sure will! We hope to see you soon too :) Maybe even with Shonali in tow! She is quite wonderful.

        Have a great weekend!
        Lisa

  • Anna Pham

    This sounds amazing, hope you get the best result with your novel.

    • geofflivingston

      Me, too. Thanks for your comments. I take it you are a sci fi fan?

  • http://therealtimereport.com/ Tonia Ries

    Very exciting news – congratulations, Geoff!

    • geofflivingston

      Well, thank you, Tonia. Hope you are doing very well!

  • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

    Dropping by to wish you a very big success on this project, sir. Before 9/11, my website was dedicated to my fiction writing efforts, and they were fairly okay pieces, but bleak. I tended to write really bleak fiction. For most of my life until 9/11, I *read* a mix of literature but my roots were always in sci fi.

    I’m so excited and happy for you on this project. I’m looking forward to reading the book and thrilled for you that you’re giving it so much focus.

    • geofflivingston

      Thanks so much, Chris. I remember you saying you had started as a fiction writer. Funny that we’ve had similar paths in that sense, but I definitely think you succes as a blogger is a huge testimony to your writing skills. I really appreciate your support! Thank you!

      • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

        At dinner the other night with a friend in the publishing industry who had seen a lot of behind-the-scenes info that authors aren’t normally privvy to seeing, he said that it’s really hard to sell books electronically-only, UNLESS you were doing genre fiction. I immediately thought, “well, I guess I could try to get my fiction chops back,” but then shrugged it off.

        So you are likely fishing in the very best waters, not that a 19-year plus passion based project needs market analysis. This was for love. I really can’t WAIT to read the book. : )

  • http://pegfitzpatrick.com/ Peg Fitzpatrick

    Hooray!!!

    • geofflivingston

      Here we go!

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    Huge congratulations, mate – this is a major milestone, and I’m sure this will give you far more personal satisfaction than 100 business books! Kudos!

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you. I am sure it will be awesome, perhaps better than the last two, though that first book is always special. Congratulations to you, too, on your recent publishing success!

  • RogierNoort

    That is fantastic news, such an achievement.., 2 decades.., wow. I will have to read that, can’t wait!

    Congratulations!!

    • geofflivingston

      LOL, thank you, Rogier. I hope you are doing well, and off to a good start this week!

  • Nedra Weinreich

    Congrats, Geoff! It’s hard to write a book, and even harder to actually finish it and publish it. Having done so distinguishes you from the other 99% of the people out there who have started a novel but never finished it (including me). Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so I’m looking forward to this when it comes out!

    • geofflivingston

      Well, let’s hope its decent, but dang, it will feel good to get it out. Thank you so much for your support, Nedra. I hope you are doing well!

  • http://fearmyblog.com/ tacanderson

    Congrats. That’s great. Looking forward to reading it.

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you, Tac!

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    Congrats, Geoff – and since I love the genre, and we’ve discussed favorite works of fiction, I’ll make sure I add it to my reading list.

    • geofflivingston

      You rock, Brian. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Brian D. Meeks

    Congrats on the book. I look forward to having marketing discussions now that you’re going to be a publisher, too. :-)

    • Brian D. Meeks

      Are you compiling the book in Scrivener?

      • geofflivingston

        Can’t say that I am. Going old school with Word. I, too, look forward to our marketing conversations. Hope you are doing well!

        • Brian D. Meeks

          The only reason I asked is that it is the best $40.00 I’ve ever spent. It doesn’t matter much, if you only intend to write the one book, but since you said it is part of a series, it may be worth considering.

          The reason is that the compiling of the .mobi file, the off set PDF for your print version, and the files for Kobo, Apple, and Nook, are spectacularly easy once one is past the learning curve.

          I would estimate that I spend less than 30 minutes getting the file ready and only a few minutes for the actual compile for each type of output.

          Again, with only one book, it isn’t such a big deal. I did it in word, used the nuclear option, and was able to get the Kindle version ready without any problems. I’m sure you’ll do fine (again, don’t forget to wipe out all the hidden formatting that word puts in…and DON’T use the Apple version of word. I’ve heard it can drive people to suicide. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been told that it just doesn’t work.)

          Of course, I had to figure out all this stuff on my own. Now that I know how, I’m happy to help you.

          Oh, and one more thing, Scrivener has a 30-day (Non-consecutive) free trial, so you could finish your book up as you are, and then just put it into Scivener for the compile.

          Oh, and one more thing…if you use Scrivener and later on someone finds an error (and they will), you will only need a few minutes to update all the version out there.

          (Note: I don’t work for Scrivener. I just like saving time.)

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    Congratulations. I usually don’t read fiction, but I”m signing up. I know this will be interesting

    • geofflivingston

      LOL, we’ll see. Just three weeks away!

  • Michael Nelson

    So cool to see something so long in the works coming to fruition! It can’t fail unless you don’t publish it :-)

    I love “Exodus (Book One of the Fundamentalists) has been 19 years in the making.” So, will book two come out in one year or will you keep us on the edge of our seats for another 19?

    Cheers!

    • geofflivingston

      LOL, I’m targeting winter of 2015. We’ll see how it goes!

      Sent via the Pony Express

      • Michael Nelson

        Well, I suppose that is a small bit longer to wait :-)

        All joking aside, that’s a great accomplishment. My wife has an MFA in Creative Writing and I see first hand the labor and devotion that goes into writing.

        Cheers!

  • http://www.slice-works.com/ krabil57

    Hi Geoff, I applaud your patience with the creative birthing of this project. Waiting is an important part of any journey. Very exciting! ~k

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you for that. It wasn’t time until it was time.

  • DianeCourt

    Thrilled for you, Geoff, and cannot WAIT to read this act of love when it arrives. Congrats!

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you so much, Diane. It’s coming quick.

  • marc zazeela

    Geoff,

    19 years! Holy perseverance, Batman!

    From your brief description, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

    Congratulations and much success in conquering the literary world.

    Cheers,
    Marc

    • geofflivingston

      Some things never stop gnawing at you. There’s probably a reason for that, I have learned. I hope you are doing well!

  • Bob Reed

    Signed up. So looking forward to this, Geoff. I’m a ardent sci-fi fan and extremely interested in the fundamentalist movement in the U.S. In fact, I wrote my master’s thesis on public relations and the New Right back at A.U.

    Congratulations and cheers to your next publishing success!

    • geofflivingston

      Wow, I’d love to see that thesis. I’m sure it’s fascinating. I hope the book meets the grade for you. This one is much more like Handmaid’s Tale. The latter books get much more geeky!

      • Bob Reed

        Geeky is good!

  • http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com olivierBlanchard

    Can’t wait!

    • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

      Exciting and I’m sure inspirational for many who read your blog.

      Congrats, Geoff!

  • Meryl at Beanstalk

    Geoff…. using the word “fail” doesn’t work. By what possible measure can you consider your work a failure—even if you never sold a single copy?

  • Susan Kuhn

    Can’t wait to read it!

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