The UNIT, Into The Briar Patch

Shameless Self-Promotion Time Again


Last year around this time, I unleashed upon this world a novel, my first and promised more to come. The Unit came out on Kindle and is being marketed on Amazon. It is safe to say that based on past sales I will not be one of the Amazon phenoms and make a million dollars. I intended to put out a paperback edition just as soon as I was able. A year has come and gone, and I am almost able to make good on my promise.

There is a world of difference between the e-book process and the print process. I didn’t have to set the type, however, everything else remained just as Gutenberg planned it. It became apparent that the transition between e-book and print was not going to be an easy one. After several false starts, I concluded that I needed adult supervision. I looked around and found Carolyn Roark out of Austin. I told her I could be a pain in the ass. She claimed she could match me move for move. She agreed to edit my manuscript for continuity, readability, and trim away some of the fat. The e-book was over 500 pages, the print version came in at over 800 pages. Even my ego wouldn’t allow me to believe I had written War and Peace.

Writing is fun when one is staring at a blank page and ideas are flowing. It’s not so fun when your editor says, “Yeah, cut that cute turn of phrase, it doesn’t fit, and you don’t need it.” But! She just didn’t get it, the irony of being a cop. The first four chapters were reduced by sixty pages, then further trashed. Read it rework it come up with some transitions. All of this took place via telephone and Dropbox. Yes, mistress, I grovelled, just because I couldn’t see her doesn’t mean whips and chains weren’t involved. “Tell the reader what he needs to know, “she commanded.

I turned in the reworked product, much shortened. I saved the armless midget. Gentry appeared much sooner than I intended. I knew that I eliminated a bunch of prose, but the story remained the same. Not true, the story was better because the journey wasn’t; quite as long.

In the end, the process of reediting the book took longer than it did to write it. I guess Mark Twain was right when he observed in a letter to a friend, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

So, look for THE UNIT, Into the Briar Patch, sometime in late April or early May. If all goes as planned the Kindle version will be free, available on Kindle for free, as part of the promotion for the paperback. The paperback will be available on Amazon, reasonably priced. Help keep a poor broke down cop in the Scotch he thinks he ought to be drinking. Also, I’d be interested in hearing what you think. I am currently hard at work on another novel involving the Unit That will be available in December 2018.




Paul Battaglia