Friday, May 22, 2015

Unlocking The Kingdom of Keys

So by now you know I wrote this book: The Kingdom of Keys. 

I mean unless you've been chasing bears and coyotes in the woods, all week, you have to have seen at least one of the three thousand posts I've plastered over everything that moved.
And sorry...I didn't know that was your dog.... 

Yeah...even I'm sick of hearing about it...and looking at it....even though I wrote the thing. 

So let me tell YOU this one last time.... 

I promise...sort of. 

We'll see.....

So yeah...I wrote this book.

It’s a Young Adult fantasy adventure, coming of age, kind of thing.

Kind of like that other “thing” that was so popular back in the 90’s…and 2000’s…and today.

But it’s not…it’s different…and one thing has nothing to do with the other thing.

You know?

Following this?

Truth is, I actually wrote it a while ago…like 20 years, a while ago. 

And I’ve been re-writing it from time to time, ever since.

Add a comma here, invert a sentence there.  Change a topical reference…remove the dead guy…update the technology, not to mention the dialogue.

I actually called it “done done”…way back in 1996, and I started sending it around to publishers and literary agents, “Over the Transom” so to speak, as they call it in the pub biz…because people in the pub biz think they’re cool.

Anyway, “Over the Transom” means…since no one actually asked to see your manuscript, and doesn’t’ want to see your manuscript, and wants nothing to do with your manuscript, “nobodies” like me, back in the day-day-day, would go to a Publishers office and literally throw their work over the transom…which I imagine probably led to some injuries, not to mention hard feelings.

But the hope was, once the unlucky editor regained consciousness, the first thing they would see would be your book—the greatest book ever written—and immediately want to hand you a gazillion dollars for the rights to sell it to the world.

At least in theory.

Today, it just means sending your work around un-solicited, hoping for a miracle…which is even less effective.

Okay, I’m probably selling myself a little short, even though I consider myself to be of average height. I wasn’t totally blown off.  On more than a few occasions, I was actually asked, by some big time publishers, to submit my manuscript. And I did get some nice responses; such as…“Can you tell us where you bought that great paper stock?”

But you learn not to let little things like that get to you. In fact, I’ve always said the publishing business is the only business where you gauge your worth by the quality of your rejections.

And I’ve had my share of good ones over the years. Like…

“Your YA manuscript, “The Kingdom of Keys” has been through quite a few readings, by many of our editors and was very much enjoyed by all.  Unfortunately, lunch came and someone spilled hot sauce all over it, which kind of changed the mood in the room, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to pass. However, we encourage you to seek another publisher for this fine work…preferably one with better table manners. We wish you all the best with this, and expect to swear off spicy food for the foreseeable future!”

So that was encouraging.

Eventually, after a mountain of pleasant rejections—similar in compliments, if not condiments—my “baby” like so many others, ended up locked away in a desk drawer for almost a couple of decades.

That is until now, when technology and the success enjoyed by some of my fellow writing cohorts with modern day self-publishing—not to mention a particular friend who offered encouragement and abuse on a regular basis—spurred me on to take the plunge and get the damn thing out of my drawer and out into the world…if only on an “On Demand” basis.

But it’s better than not being “out there” and who knows…maybe some folks will like it and actually make it something “In Demand”. 

Maybe even you.

Okay…I know…now I’m getting carried away.

Anyway, I think it’s a good book, and believe me, no one is more surprised by that than me. And while it’s intended for a Young Adult (12-18) audience, much like the “glasses guy”, I think it has appeal for “older” folks, as well. Especially those that have been known to march to the beat of a different drummer…or insist on wearing those peculiar socks and ties.  

I don’t have the space, here, to go into too much detail, but it’s basically about a sixteen year old boy named Toby who finds a mysterious key to a mysterious door and—

Well, it has pretty much everything…action, adventure, fantasy, humor, villains, heroes, Kings, Queens, strange creatures from an enchanted land, a multitude of laser blasts, and even a little romance - as much as an awkward sixteen year old can muster.  But, more importantly, woven within is an insightful message designed to encourage young minds—even older ones—to choose the path in life most in harmony with, not only their intellect, but also their heart and their soul.

There’s lots of plot detail about “The Kingdom of Keys” available on Amazon if you’re interested in learning more about the story…and, of course if you’d like to pick up a copy.

And I hope you do, because hoping otherwise would be pretty silly. But I especially hope that you enjoy my “baby” and will pass it on to your babies, grandbabies and even future babies, who just might discover something in there that “changes everything”.



  1. now that we are done chasing the coyotes and bears... i am going to look into getting this treasure of hot saucy artistry into the hands of my kids to read, and perhaps i will even read aloud to the wookie. so proud of you, brian!

    1. Thanks, Nicole! So I can put you down for at least 5 copies, then. Great! Just be warned, Wookies have a tendency to find the middle chapters particularly tasty....

    2. what could i do with 5 copies? centerpiece?

    3. Well, a centerpiece is always a nice touch....

  2. Enjoyed reading this - mainly because it's basically my writing experience too! Love the writing just hate all this promotion stuff you have to do! You seem to be aiming at the same age group as me so if you do find the magical ' hook' that manages to target your audience please let me know!

    1. Thanks, Kim. I appreciate sharing the misery with someone. I'll let you know about the magical "hook"...just hoping it doesn't hook me in the head first....


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