Diversion hit another bump in the publishing road. I follow a process that requires a voice read before turning an otherwise fully edited Mark Rollins adventure manuscript over to the digital and print formatters. One person reads and a second follows along using a second copy of the text. You would be surprised how often what the mind reads differs from the written word. We will mentally fill in blanks, read the correct word even though the written text is wrong, etc. The process also discloses unnatural wording or dialog. It has been my experience that the “read aloud” last step in the editing process always results in an improved book.
The Diversion manuscript was ready to go except for the voice read. The night before the scheduled read through, I was brought to my knees by 104-degree temperature. It started with uncontrollable teeth-chattering shakes. My wife and daughter turned nurses and brought the fever under control, but neither they nor the doctor, who prescribed antibiotics, eliminated the fever entirely. I spent several days and nights in Centennial Hospital in Nashville while doctors tried to find the cause. Finally, the antibiotics won the battle with the bacteria, and I came back to the living—but as a thinner and weaker man.
In the end, what had brought me down was a simple but severe urinary-tract infection with no preceding symptoms (no warnings to alert me that I was headed for a problem). I’m back home and ready to go to work—that work will go a little slower, however, until I can recover fully. It was one nasty bacteria that didn’t respond quickly to the antibiotics.
However, there are a couple of good things that came out of the experience. For example, I gained new insights surrounding the issue of torture or aggressive interrogation. We don’t need them, including water boarding. We have the Great American Medical Exam. We have the finest CAT scans, PET Scans, colossal x-ray machines, and ultra sound equipment. We have the best stress inducers and radiation equipment. And you have not seen anything until you have seen the new machines in our nuclear medicine arsenal. The machines are huge part of the exam, but don’t write off the doctors and their hand tools! They are skilled at painful prodding, poking, and pressing where it hurts the most. Then there are those wonderful stents. Anyone want a J-stent up there….? Well you know. And of course, you’ll need a biopsy or two—a bone marrow biopsy is one of my favorites. We can’t forget a colonoscopy. The preparation is the best part. There are more procedures we could work into a complete exam. Doctors are pretty good at coming up with new ones, but some of the best have been around a long time—for example, ever had a barium enema?
All we need to do is threaten suspected terrorists with a complete and through medical exam and they will tell everything—no water boarding required.
The other good thing was just an experience the day I got sick but before the illness had actually struck without warning. I was shopping and in line to check out, when the person behind me said my name. I turned to see who it was. He introduced himself and explain that they had recognized me from my picture on the back of the book they were reading. That is something that all authors crave. It is real life feedback—someone bought your work and recognized you as an author.
Watch for Diversion to be released later this year.
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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
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