I have recently completed the manuscript of a novel – Through the Valley of the Shadow of Life – exploring a man’s decades-long quest to free himself from the negative effects of sexual abuse experienced in the family environment of his childhood; his search for meaning and contentment in his life, including in his intimate relationships; and his efforts to make amends for past misconduct.
Described by a beta reader as a coming of age novel in old age, Through the Valley of the Shadow of Life takes the reader on a journey of enlightenment in a struggle against darkness and taboo.
I hope I can find a good agent to represent this novel, and that the agent can then find a good publisher. If some or all of that doesn’t happen, self-publishing is always an option.
You can read an excerpt here.
(Please note: This update supersedes all previous updates regarding my writing activities, SNS, etc).
First, for over a year I’ve been working on some substantial revisions to what I had considered to be the near-final draft I had previously completed, over two years ago, of Through the Valley of the Shadow of Life – this based on my consideration of various beta reader feedback and on various societal developments, particularly the rise of the #MeToo movement and its reframing of societal awareness regarding sexual assault generally.
Second, I’ve been working to make some significant revisions, based on reader feedback and societal trends, to Preludes: A Story of Child Sexual Abuse in a Middle Class American Family – my novella on the Kindle Store and other ebook stores based on my experience of child sexual abuse and the challenges of healing – with an aim of selling Preludes for a price (currently it’s free) and running a Kindle ad campaign. (Click here for the current version.)
Third, I have made an affirmative decision to drastically reduce the amount of my time available for writing and writing-related activities that I allocate to social media and similar activities, the reason being that I’ve concluded I need basically all of my available time for the writing itself.
… in evening’s coolness on Omotesando Avenue … some feeling of peace.
Making progress with the novel revision and have received very positive, and also helpful, feedback on the first 100 pages or so from a very perceptive beta reader.
Also have been making progress with social media – specifically, with my YouTube channel, preparing new videos.
Want to get the novel revision done by this summer, if possible, and start actually putting out more videos on johnbrookswriting at YouTube – i.e., delivering product.
And product which doesn’t sacrifice artistic integrity.
Thanks to a very helpful, in-person, mid-January consultation with two of my patrons on Patreon – people who’ve provided my writing efforts with gobs of much-appreciated encouragement, I decided to set aside working on the “Trump era” version of “Bonobo Christ,” on which I’d been making steady progress, for the time being and start work on final additions and other revisions to “Through the Valley of the Shadow of Life,” these informed in substantial degree by the #MeToo movement.
These revisions will, I hope, take only two or three months at most, after which I plan to submit “Valley” to agencies and publishers or to self-publish.
(Then – as I start submitting ”Valley” and/or or prepare it for self-publication – back to “Bonobo Christ”!)