My latest book, "Bader Field; How My Family Survived Suicide" took me almost 30 years to get published. It began as homage to my father, my hero who was felled by a major coronary at age 58. I knew that I was going to write this memoir for many reasons. The world needed to know the greatness of this extraordinary being but more so for my children, not yet born. It was a times very painful to dig deep and relive certain episodes and events in my life so it took decades to finish the book.
Along the way I pitched dozens of major publishers, knowing this would be of interest to the mass public. Nearly every one responded that the work was well written but too personal. After all, my father was not of celebrity status to them, so who was he....? I was deflated and at times discouraged, thinking perhaps the format was wrong. I wondered about re-organizing the entire work; starting from scratch. But I persisted and refused to give up. I would find the publisher who "got it" no matter how long it took.
In early 2008 I was directed by an agent friend to Nightengale Press, a small publishing house that I was told would very likely want to work with me on this project. I spoke with the owner/publisher herself (Valerie Connelly) and explained the book to her. She asked that I email it to her and she'd get back to me in a week; that it sounded wonderful. I was cautiously optimistic. The week went by and I didn't hear so I called her to see if I had made the cut.
"Absolutely, I love it." My heart pounded with newly found excitement. "With one condition" she continued. "Anything, I've got but one chance to get this right so what do I need to do?" I asked. "We want you to rewrite it, Movie Style." I had no clue as to what movie style meant but agreed, "Sure, no problem, what's movie style?" She proceeded to explain that she wanted dialog, that I needed to Show it, not Tell it. I nodded in acknowledgment and was given a crackerjack editor (Yvonne Perry) who showed me how to dialog, she didn't tell me.....
In six weeks with the help of my editor, mission accomplished. I loved it. It really came to life. The characters were now three dimensional and vibrantly real. The reader would be one with them and myself, sharing all of our experiences as if they had lived them.
Some time after it had been on the market through Amazon and all of the other online vendors, we felt it was missing something that would give the first glance incentive to look further. The title was too vague. Was "Bader Field" an airport, a baseball field, or what? No clue unless someone read the back cover. After very careful consideration and deliberation we decided to include the subtitle, "How My Family Survived Suicide." That would give a very powerful insight as to what was in those pages.
It has made a dramatic difference. I have been promoting on my website www.carledavid.com and on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and on the many book sites where I am a member. I am trying to raise awareness to the devastating issue of suicide and the impact it has on the surviving family members and friends. I have done a lot of media work, television, radio and magazine interviews, hoping to save lives by letting those on that edge of desperation that there is help for them, that they are loved, and that there is always a better way. I will not relent or retreat from this quest as I take my darkest days and do something of benefit for others with them..