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Posted June 20, 2010

"Roisin Dubh - Black Rose Poetry"

For those who have asked me for more of my work, I've recently experimented with publishing a 32 - page poetry chapbook as an e-book venture.

After reading the latest article in the Wall Street Journal about writer Karen McQuestion spending nearly a decade without success to get a novel published and deciding to go digital, I was impressed with her selling 36,000 e-books through Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle e-bookstore.

Now that the publishing houses are going through another upheaval according to the information coming in from editors and agents, and everyone is jumping on the e-book band wagon, which publishing company should I choose? I did some research and found that if I could edit my own work and could figure out how to read their Style Guide Instructions, I could publish for free, keep the price down to the buyer, and retain 85% of the proceeds. Smashwords has a free publishing service and they distribute the author's work through e-books available at their site and also available soon through Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, etc.

The great thing is, I can also sell the $2 poetry book from my website store as a download, front cover and all, since my agent doesn't represent my poetry.

Since I'd read a story about a high school in Clearwater, Florida transitioning to Kindle for their textbook materials, I realized that alas, and sob, sob, we are getting away from old fashioned books held in the hand while lounging on the sofa reading and munching chocolate.

So if the great writer Stephen King is getting with the program, I guess it's the way the future is going and we'll be saving more trees - a good thing.

So what is Roisin Dubh about? In May, when I was researching the Philip Lynott Rock Star article for the blog, I had a strange experience, as though the deceased rocker who'd died from a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol was with me, I know, woo - woo, encouraging me to tell his story. Since I'm a Christian writer, I thought this was a little peculiar to say the least. The burden of writing about him would not lessen.

However, during this time, poetry influenced by my horseback trip to Ireland several years ago also began pouring out, along with inspired poems about Irish writers, poets, and songwriters - 32 poems all total, perfect for a poetry chapbook. I wasn't complaining - if a restless ghost was inspiring me to write a book of poetry I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

After writing the blog, I was stunned to discover that Lynott had manifested himself to others on several occasions since his death and to one lady he'd said, "Tell my mother I'm at peace."

Could a dead man's spirit still be wanting his story told twenty years after his passing so that others could be warned about the dangers of drug and alcohol excess? Was he truly prompting me all along to write the blog and then the book of poems?

What did materialize was one man across the Big Pond who read the blog article and didn't agree with something I'd written about the star - Lynott was his hero. I assured him everything had been well researched and Lynott wrote about God in his lyrics and had even called for a priest to visit before passing. The man emailed me back: "Your right. I've been looking through rose colored glasses. One thing Lynott had that I don't have is a belief in God - can you help me find God?" God works in mysterious ways.

Maybe one day I'll find out for sure about the extraordinary week of writing. But for now what to do with the chapbook? To wait until I sent those individual poems out to literary magazines for acceptance before publishing an entire chapbook might take years.

That's when I discovered Smashwords. I already had the perfect picture for the book cover - and voila! Instant publishing.

I hope you enjoy the book of inspired poetry - it was a wild ride! And if you're a writer or poet, I encourage you to get your work out there - Smashwords may be the way to go for you and your next project. And you never know when someone might ask, "Can you help me find God?"

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Email to....:vmoss@livingwaterfiction.com