Guest Post: The Making of “Gold Watch” by C Raymond Taylor

The making of “Gold Watch” has been quite a process in its creation and rather interesting in how it all came to pass. Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we?

The year was 2002 and my wife and I were preparing to go out one weekend and take in a movie. After reviewing the entire list of movies available in our area, we did not find a single one that suited us. My wife asked me “Why do almost all of the movies suck?” My reply was “Probably because the books they are based on all suck.” She said “You ought to write a book.” I responded “Maybe I will.” And thus the seed which would eventually germinate and grow into the novel “Gold Watch” had been planted.

I had always been keenly interested in reading, and had read hundreds and hundreds of novels (both fiction and nonfiction) along with scores of history books, autobiographies, Readers Digests and of course many, many newspapers and magazines from cover to cover. But actually writing something for others to read had honestly been something I hadn’t given a thought to. After further examination of the idea of actually writing a novel, my initial thought was, no way! I’m a salesman, I’ve always been a salesman, and I will always be just a salesman. But my competitive juices got the better of me. Perhaps I should give it a try. But tossing all caution to the wind as they say, I decided to begin writing a novel and see where it led.

In order to write a novel, I deduced that one should have an idea of what to write about (Brilliant deduction, don’t you think!) Since I (and thousands of others) had recently been let go from a very stable and long held position with a major corporation due to the dictates of a new C.E.O., I was somewhat predisposed in the selection of a villain. With a C.E.O. having by chosen as “the bad guy” it was a matter of choice as to where his domain should lie. Since my wife had been a nurse for many years, I tended to gravitate into the medical arena direction, and eventually came up with an idea that got the novel off to a credible beginning and one which offered me some interesting paths to proceed upon.

Shortly after I began the novel, I found myself looking forward to getting back to the keyboard and relishing the challenge of continuously moving forward with seemingly interesting ideas and characters.

Well after almost 4 years (I told you I was a slow typist didn’t I!”) I felt that “Gold Watch” was now complete. Now all I had to do was get it published. That’s right. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS GET IT PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!   Well I spent the better part of two years sending off one-page synopses of “Gold Watch” with info about the author. This resulted in dozens of rejection letters and not a single sentence of encouragement.

The sensible side of my brain was screaming GIVE IT UP DUMMY! IT AIN”T GONNA HAPPEN! However the less sensible but more emotion-oriented side was being influenced by outside forces which even the sensible side couldn’t totally ignore. At the same time that publishers and agents were being approached, I was also attempting to determine if “Gold Watch” truly did have any merit. I felt that perhaps I must be too close to the novel and perhaps was being too kind to myself to be an effective critic. Thus I decided to find avid readers among my sales customer base and see if they would agree to give “Gold Watch” a fair, critical and honest evaluation. It was at this time that, as they say, “A funny thing happened on my way to the ranch.”  A few days after making the determination to approach my customers for critiques of the novel, I came across a lady named Lil engrossed in a novel at work. She went onto say that she used to be the person at a local library who selected which books the library should buy and stock on their shelves. She said that she would agree to evaluate my novel and give me a fair and honest critique. I told her to please be as harsh as possible in her evaluation because if “Gold Watch” was unworthy, she would be doing me a huge favor by telling me so and not letting me waste my time or risk embarrassment by pushing a poorly written story.

Three weeks later Lil and I reconvened. She then stated that if she was still the librarian, she would insist that they buy five or six dozen copies of “Gold Watch” and put it at the front of the library on the “Must Read ” shelf. At first I was incredulous, then I had a thought. I said that I appreciated her attempt to make me feel good, but that I really truly needed her HONEST evaluation, and not to try to spare my feelings. She looked me square in the eye and slowly said “That IS my honest evaluation!”

The next day I thought to myself that while Lil’s critique had been great, she was just one person. More critiques were needed in order to assess if “Gold Watch” had any true value. That day I again came across an avid reader named Val who also agreed to give the book a read. Val was a weekly customer and when I returned to her store the following week, she approached me with a decidedly upset look on her face. I asked her if there was something wrong? She replied “You!” I said “Me?” She then said “Yes you! Thanks for ruining my weekend!” I asked how I had ruined her weekend? Now she broke into a big toothy smile and said “I couldn’t put your book down! I read the entire thing in two days. I just loved it!”

In the ensuing years I allowed approximately fifty to sixty people to read the manuscript of “Gold Watch” while I still harbored hopes of someday actually seeing it become an actual novel selling in a book format. A lady’s exact quote was “On one page you made me cry. On the next page you made me so joyously happy! Thank you for letting me buy a copy of your “Gold Watch” manuscript.” The only problem was that it was still just a manuscript and not a book. I did not have the time, the expertise, or the money to see “Gold Watch” all the way to becoming an actual book. And then I met George Roush.

At the beginning of 2014 I had begun to check out possible website developers to see if I could have a website built to let the world know about “Gold Watch.” George was a local website developer keen to build me a website, format the novel far better than I had done, and be my liaison between myself and Lulu in order to self-publish the novel.

C Raymond Taylor is the author of the debut novel Gold Watch, available now on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Watch-C-Raymond-Taylor/dp/1312727527. More information about the book and C Ray can be found on his website: http://goldwatchnovel.com/

 

About C Raymond Taylor

C Raymond Taylor lives in Northeast Ohio. He is married with three adult children and unabashedly admits that his family is far and away the most important thing in his life. His career has been almost exclusively in the sales arena where he has worked for a handful of both major corporations and small businesses over the years. C Ray has always been an avid reader with a broad base of interests, and a somewhat unusual, imaginative, and inventive way of looking at life.

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