Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Book Tour and Appearances!

Hello Dear Readers,
 
Join me this spring and summer as I take my two adventure novels, Cerulean Isle and Everblade, to bookstores near you for book signings.
 
Dates and locations will be added here as they are confirmed. Connect with my Facebook Page for more information (G. M. Browning). Both titles are available now wherever books are sold!
See you soon!
 
Barnes&Noble
Book Signing- Launch of Everblade!
Manchester, New Hampshire
Saturday, March 1st, 1pm-3pm

New Hampshire Literary Awards Ceremony
Attending as nominee for "Outstanding Work of Young Adult Literature" award - Cerulean Isle
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
Saturday March 22nd, 4:30-6:00pm
 
Barnes&Noble
Book Signing
Nashua, New Hampshire
Saturday, April 5th, 1pm-3pm

Barnes&Noble
Author/Educator Night
Book Signing and Discussion
Manchester, New Hampshire
Thursday, April 17th, 4:30pm-6:30pm

Barnes&Noble
Book Signing
Manchester, New Hampshire
Saturday, April 19th, 1:00pm-3:00pm
 
Toadstool Bookshop-with Author Kerri Cuevas!Book Signing
Keene, New Hampshire
Saturday, May 3rd, 1pm-3pm

Barnes&Noble
Book Signing
Framingham, MA
Saturday, July 12, 1-3pm

Barnes&Noble
Book Signing
Portsmouth, NH
Saturday, August 2nd, 2-4pm

Check back here for more events!
Books available in stores or online in print and ebook.
 
 

 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My First Publication

My writing career has been challenging. It takes a lot of patience to be a writer, especially if you plan to one day be published. Today, I thought I'd write about my first publication. Maybe an aspiring author will read this and pick up a few pointers.

Throughout my teenage years, I wrote short stories. It wasn't until I was all grown up and living on my own that my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) challenged me to write a full length novel about one of the characters in her favorite short story of mine. This short story was a vampire romance titled "The Heart of the Cove." In a nutshell, it was a story of love, loss and immortality. My vampire, Blake, was different than vampires from other stories because he was not made into a vampire by blood or the bite of another. The ocean, with its mysterious life-giving power, brought him back. What I created in this story was a natural, more "Earthy" vampire--one that was bound to the ocean and wandered the midnight coasts.

Well, I accepted the challenge and wrote about Blake. It took me over a year to finish the first draft of my first novel, "Timeless Love: the Legend of Black Water." Like all writers, I was proud to have completed my first book. Holding the manuscript in my hand, I asked, "now what?"

I shared the story with a few people and they enjoyed it. I wondered how to go about getting it published. My next stop was Barnes and Nobles. I was surprised to learn that they have an entire section in the store for "how to get published." I picked up a few books and read about the publishing industry.

Skipping a head a year or so, I pitched my query letters all over the country. One rude publisher wrote back to me saying, "Dear Mr. Browning, you are more likely to get struck by lightning than get published. Good luck."

A storm must have rolled in without me knowing because, after only eight months of rejections, a small publisher in Wisconsin asked to read the book. I sent it and after another four months, they got back to me and offered a contract. You can imagine my elation having just been struck by lightning!

Skipping ahead again, after working with this small publisher for a year, my book was released (after several delays). They sent me a box of free books. I remember rushing home from work to open the box with my wife--the first time I would hold "Timeless Love: the Legend of Black Water" in my hand as a bound novel! To my horror, sadness, disgust and every other awful feeling, the books were garbage. The cover art was grainy, the titled was misspelled, the binding had glue all over it, the edges of the pages were not squared. The worst part was when I opened the book, page one fell out and fluttered to the floor.

My first novel was published full of typos, unedited and bound with shotty cover art and barely able to keep itself together. I was enraged and embarrassed. I fought with the publisher, forcing them to fix it. I had them change the cover art and send me more free books to make amends. After three drastic changes, the book was finally printed without typos, with a better cover and cleaner binding. It still lacked proper editing but they would not pull it back.

Thankfully, the publisher closed six months after my book was released. In that time, I sold nearly a thousand copies at book signings. How? By being honest with people and holding my belief in the power of a good story. To this day, I receive praise for a story well told (despite the typos.)

I learned a great deal through this horrible experience. I learned to be patient, to be cautious about small publishers, and to protect my work. I learned that there are scammers out there, people who claim to be publishing companies but in truth, they are just a person with a fancy printer in the garage peddling an authors dreams for retail/cover price. This experience was humbling and strengthened me as a writer.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Firebird

 It's getting cold here in New Hampshire and it won't be long before the snow starts to fall. Winter is a beautiful time of year but for me, it’s the season that forces me to put away my favorite toy, a 1988 Pontiac Firebird-Formula.
 Let me share the story behind this car.
My grandfather was my hero and in many ways, the nucleus of our small family. His death was very difficult for everyone and it made me consider, for the first time, just what happens to all of us when we die. Eleven months later, my Grandmother died. She missed her husband and he came to get her. That's what I believe. So it was that my family endured a very difficult two years. My wife, Devin (who was my girlfriend at the time) remained supportive and brightened up my life. At the time, her and I were living in our first little apartment on the edge of the city. Things were great in our life but I just couldn't seem to get rid of my sorrow.
 One morning, I left for work and drove down the busy street beyond the apartment complex and something caught my eye, a gleaming black sport car parked in a driveway with the words "FOR SALE $2,200". I drove by and went to work. All day long I kept seeing this car in my head. When I drove home, it was there, shining in the night, staring at me.
 For the next three days, I drove by this vehicle on my way to and from work. Each day, it haunted my mind. On the morning of the fourth day, while driving to work, I looked for it. It was gone. I felt sick all day. No joke. That night, to my relief, it was back again. I couldn't take it anymore.
 The weekend had come and I told Devin about the car. She saw my excitement and insisted we go take a closer look. I was resistant at first because I did not have an extra 2,000 dollars lying around. Devin, in her selfless and unending generosity, told me to spend the money in our savings account to buy it, as long as I agree to pay the account back soon. (How many women in the history of humanity would let a man deplete a savings account for a sport car? Not too many!)
 We went to see the car. As I approached the black Firebird, my heart started to race. When I touched it, I felt a rush of heat shoot up my arm! I took the seller's phone number and called him the next day.
 I met the man in the morning and he showed me the Firebird. It started right up, growled at me and rumbled quietly, as if begging to driven out of there. The interior, perfect. The body, solid and smooth. The engine looked clean and the mileage was very low. For its age, it was impressive.
 I asked the man where he got it. He said he was a funeral home director and recently held a service for a young man who died. The family couldn't afford the full cost of the services so they offered the young man's Firebird as payment. The director accepted the deal, sure he could sell it. He told me that this car was special to the man who died and it was hard for the family to give it up.
 I sat inside and gripped the wheel. It was then, my mind filled with memories of my grandparents. I could hear, in my heart, my grandfather saying, "be happy, son." Without even taking it to a mechanic, I handed the man an envelope full of cash and drove off to the gas station in my new Firebird. Before I left, the funeral home director said, "Promise me one thing..." I agreed, he continued, "Don’t end up at my work in this thing."
 That first ride was fast, powerful and unlike anything I'd ever experienced! Without a registration, plates, or inspection sticker, I cruised, tearing up the highway. The faster I went, the happier I felt.
 When I took him to my mechanics for review and inspection, they told me the car needed no repairs! The mech said, "You got one hell of a ride here, kid. Where did you get it?" My reply came quickly, "My grandparents gave it to me."
 I will always believe they sent this car to me to heal my heart. To this day, my Firebird runs like new. I just completed restoring the body, floors and doors. The mileage is still low and the V8 runs clean and powerful. This car is more than a sport car. It’s magic. Behind the wheel, I smile because I know that sadness, grief, or worries of any kind cannot catch me. It’s just too fast!