In October of 2007, I was wandering around one of my usual haunts, a coffee shop, and noticed a book for sale. I picked it up and started scanning it. The young woman at the counter told me it was free and to take it. Perusing it on my way home, I noted the name of he publisher: Brown Paper Publishing. I read a few more pages and looked up the publisher on the Web. Then I sent them the first third of my novel, The Dog at the Signpost. Within days, Brown Paper Publishing contacted me, interested in reading the rest of the book. I sent it off and within another few weeks, they contacted me telling me that they wanted to publish my novel.
Well. Things like this are unheard of. I wrote this book and put it on a shelf never thinking I would submit it to a publishing house. I had sent it off to a few literary agencies, but got nothing but rejection slips. I simply chalked it up to first novel blues and immersed myself in work that could actually earn me money.
But Brown Paper was adamant. They wanted to publish The Dog at the Signpost. I decided to let them. But I was skeptical. I always followed the Woody Allen maxim (and Woody credits Groucho Marx ... or Freud with saying it first): "I would never belong to a club that would have someone like me as a member."
But sure enough, I was about to become a member of the "published novelists club." For better or worse.