Roll the Dice by Wayne Avrashow
Fiery Seas Publishing
November 28, 2017
Roll the Dice was published on November 28th, so I think I can speak for all book bloggers in congratulating Wayne for all his hard work. You can breathe a sigh of relief because it has all paid off!
Just how hard is it to get that first draft manuscript into a published novel? I was given the opportunity to ask the author about his experience…
“Both processes: writing a novel and retaining a publisher were time-consuming, circuitous, thrilling roller-coaster rides with uncertain twists and turns. I landed on terra firma and delighted to share the emotions of those rides. I overcame the obstacles and now revel in the ultimate victory for an aspiring author—my novel Roll the Dice will be published November 28 by Fiery Seas Publishing.
My novel’s main protagonist is Tyler Sloan, a rock star who exits the stage to campaign for the United States Senate. Sloan has a complicated and difficult relationship with his father Mike, who was a nationally famous politician. The novel has plot lines with intrigue, corruption and sexual tension between Sloan and his young, attractive media advisor Bree Baker. A quick plug—the novel is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and in selected bookstores.
The first novels I remember reading were Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. I love that genre, but the “write what you know” cliché is accurate. I have no knowledge of that world; or the nuances of crimes and police work that Michael Connelly skillfully explores in many of his novels. I do not hold the passion to create a fictional world such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
I have been an attorney for more than two decades and volunteered in my first political campaign when I was 17. Before I graduated college, I was the campaign manager for a successful Los Angeles City Council campaign. I managed another victorious campaign and served on the staffs of those two Council members, including as Chief of Staff. I later served on two government commissions and in other roles in politics and government.
As an attorney, I draft legal documents, but needed guidance to write fiction. It is not a skill set taught in law school. I attended UCLA Extension courses on fiction writing. I would encourage any aspiring author to attend classes, review online material, read books or view YouTube videos of a host of tutors, my choice is best-selling author Michael Levin, who skillfully explains the writing process.
The most important recommendation is to simply keep writing. The goal is to write daily. Just keep going. I jotted down notes of interesting phrases, observations, and people I met. Exaggerate, combine, twist, mold and mangle these qualities for your novel.
Writing the book consumed years of my life. I never suffered from “writer’s block,” but my legal practice is a time-consumptive occupation. I rewrote Roll the Dice many times; it was an illusion when I thought the work was completed.
When I thought the novel was completed, I entered the manuscript in online book contests. I survived the initial cuts in Amazon’s CreateSpace contest, but did not proceed as far as I hoped. With my confidence muted, I did some research.
I went online and to the bookstore to acquire ideas on fine-tuning a novel. I rewrote it, tightened it, reduced a character or two, combined or eliminated scenes and once again, thought I was ready. The novel was completed. It was done.
My first real success was when the manuscript was named one of the year’s best unpublished manuscripts in a Kirkus Reviews contest. The novel was completed. Now it was done.
I had a fortuitous meeting with a friend, a former executive at two major studios. I described the plot and main characters and asked for his input. He suggested one substantial change; that the deceased father of my protagonist Tyler Sloan be alive and become a major character. This one change added significant conflicts throughout the book. I rewrote it again. Once again, I was now certain the novel was done.
I sought out a literary agent. Cue the drumroll— the Rejection Process began. I reminded myself that the best-selling authors of our time were rejected. John Grisham was rejected by 16 publishers and J.K. Rowling nearly matched it with 15 rejections. The Beatles were rejected numerous times. One Decca Records executive passed, and informed their manager Brian Epstein, that “guitar groups are on their way out.” Good call.
I only needed one agent and braced myself for the expected deluge of rejections. I was not disappointed. One rejection was humorous. An agent took some time to write on my query letter which was on my legal stationary, that he would, “never represent an attorney as an author.” No profanity, but his comments were laced with insults as to the honesty of my profession. That agent was likely to be pleased to reject: Grisham, David Baldacci, Scott Turow, Meg Gardiner, Linda Fairstein and countless other attorney-authors. You have to smile.
More than one agent expressed an interest and I retained New York-based, Linda Langton of the Langton Literary Agency. Linda is perfect; supportive, smart and patient. I was once again certain the novel was complete.
Linda was pleased, but believed the manuscript needed an editor to be commercially viable. After the editor’s comments, I once again rewrote Roll the Dice. One bit of advice to all aspiring authors; accept the input of a skilled professional. I gladly accepted Linda’s advice and the editor greatly enhanced the manuscript. With her guidance, the manuscript was transformed into a finished work. The novel was now ready to be published.
I was very fortunate to have a skilled literary agent who located Fiery Seas Publishing to publish my first novel. I have enjoyed a varied career in politics and law; however, the satisfaction of a publisher believing in my work ranks among my most satisfying career achievements.
I admit that even holding the book in my hand, there are times when I would revise certain sentences or phrases. However, the novel is now complete.”
About the Author:
Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.
His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.
Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms. As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications. In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.