Thursday, July 10, 2014

Darrell Laurent's First Novel Due Out Soon

Darrell teaching class at the 2012 RRWC at Hollins University.
My friend Darrell Laurant, who retired a few months ago as the Lynchburg News-Advance Metro columnist, has settled in near his mom in Lake George, N.Y., in order to take care of her. Meanwhile, his first novel, The Kudzu Kid, which I mentioned a while back while he was still writing it, is due out in the fall. It's a dang good mystery and Darrell is a natural at this form--unlike some of those of us of the ex-newspaper persuasion.

His publishing experience with Kudzu is one of those combos that combines all the newest technology with an old-style publisher who is working with new concepts. Here's Darrell's take on it:

"I had to plunk down some money for this, but it's kind of a bad news, good news deal. These people came well-recommended by a number of writers I know, and they do something called 'hybrid publishing.'  In other words, if you haven't developed a 'name' yet, you have to kick in some bucks.

"On the plus side, they do the editing (I just finished working with Joe Coccaro, who used to be an editor with the Virginian-Pilot  and did a great job), the distribution, and a lot of the promotion. And since The Kudzu Kid is part of a sequel, I have it written into my contract that if I sell 3,000 of them (not impossible, if I bust my butt with my own promotional efforts), they'll publish the next one with no financial requirement from me. Or, of course, I can always take it elsewhere if I don't like how things go with the first one."

Darrell is the founder of the Writers Bridge, which matches freelance writers with work and his writers conference at the Sedalia Center, held for a number of years, was the inspiration for the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. He was one of the featured teachers at RRWC for several years, generally talking about the art of storytelling--which he does so well.

Look for his book. It's a good one.

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