The Saga of Jettison, the Novel

2000 May 30, 2000

      Submitted as Background to Romantic Times Magazine (This is way too much information for you - I will pick and choose a shorter version.)
      I wrote Jettison in 1975 - or I started the project then - right after running the 1975 Equicon Star Trek convention in San Diego. I took numerous writing classes and went to numerous writing seminars and I touched up or re-wrote and polished this first work until I felt it was ready. A bunch of Trekkies read it - because it was a Star Trek novel at that time. An English teacher (also a Trekkie) helped me by doing the language editing. A New York agent (who shall remain nameless) had it reviewed - and the final verdict was that it was a fun book (action, shoot 'em up space opera) and that it should be given a chance.
      Pocket books - which owns the Star Trek franchise, misplaced the manuscript - several times over a two-year period, but at long last Karen Haas [I am not sure of the spelling] said that she loved it, and that she would "buy anything I wrote". I agreed to touch up the time line (to fit the Star Trek 5-year mission window), did the edit in four weeks, but Karen had left and her replacement did not take the book. My agent had not had a contract signed. That close.
      David Brin, Greg Bear (both very well-known science fiction authors) told me several times over the next few years - don't ever throw anything you write away. So I didn't. I had reprocessed Jettison into a science fiction novel with different characters (non-Trek), based on the reviewers remarks that my characters were "strong enough to stand on their own". I took a writing class with David as the instructor. I made a TV commercial with Greg Bear advertising the 1975 convention and ran into him at different writing sessions over the years.
      Along the way I have attended RT conventions and writing workshops and drafted three other novels and the general result is that I have been told many times by other authors, agents and reviewers to "stop taking classes and just do it". I am a story-teller. I have over 230 short stories (essays, journal entries, and other types) on the web - my current creative outlet.
      A few months ago I found the book, laying in a box in the garage. I hadn't touched it for 11 years. I started looking at it and hit page 28 before I realized I was standing in the garage hooked on my own book. This from a woman who throws books across the room when they bore her. Time to let this project be finished.
      Time to Do It
      I was planning on going to RT in Toronto and decided then and there that I would focus on finding an agent or a small publishing house - anything to get Jettison out of my writing queue, which has too many books in it now demanding my attention.
      I went to Toronto, and listened, and became aware that, with 18 years doing user-manual publishing, including three and a half years as the Director Of Marketing handling ads, ad copy, direct mail, promotions, trade shows, press releases, copy and logo design, etc. (and picking up a new degree in Marketing from USCD in 1994) , I had all the skills I needed to do this myself.
      And my technical side (MSEE, PhD Computer Science) is intriqued by the Open eBook side of the business as well. And, last but not least, I am a webmaster, have authored several sites for high-tech companies, and am very well aware that how to sell something has undergone a radical shift with the advent of eBusiness. Ergo, I know how to do this better than some of the people doing it!
      Picking the Cover Model

      I was in Toronto for the Regency workshop - where Troy was a volunteer and at which I became interested in him. I am writing three Regencies and he looked the part. I continued to watch him over the next two days - missing a few sessions because I wanted to be in the ones where he was, and I was impressed by his manner, his looks and his approachability. While I was pondering all the information I had gathered about publishing, sitting at the book fair, I had a sudden flash of insight. I will do the book myself and I will put Troy on the cover. A recent IPO has made this possible. God bless Silicon Valley! Nan Doporto can be credited for planting the seed.
      This was BEFORE the Mr. Romance contest. I actually got Troy to come to my room (my son in tow) and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. It didn't hurt that he had made friends with my son and that my son likes him too.
      Getting it Ready
      I re-read my book, I have had it edited by Janice Imkamp, I will make one more pre-press pass at it - a few changes I want to make, minor edits, fonts and format. Very little rewrite needs to be done. This baby is ready to walk on its own. (Well, I did poump up the romance and the action a bit. I am a stronger writer now. Just tried not to get carried away.)
      I made vests, got the photographer (the one I had used when I was the Director of Marketing), he got the studio, the make-up girl, the plant guys, my older son found the gun, and we did it. The results of the photo shoot are to die for. We also have the shot for the poster-RT ads. I am very pleased.
      Just do it. Best way.
      I am now getting quotes from 2-3 printers for posters (5,000 of them), bookmarks (5,000-10,000) , softcover books (20,000), fullfillment services and pre-run reviewers copies. I have ordered the ISBN numbers. I am getting ready to draft the copy for the ads, the poster and the cover. I can do this.
      I am issuing insertion orders for RT - a 4-color centerfold in May and a back cover in June. I am issuing insertion orders for Star Log - where 233,000+ Trekkies reside - for two 1/2 page 4-color ads for the same months. I know where my market is. I am part of it.
      The books should be ready BEFORE the ads hit - I am targeting them to be at the printers no later than February 1 if not sooner. Book runs are typically 4-6 weeks. I will probably use the printers I have used for the technical manuals.
      I will also web broadcast an announcement. I will also be contacting the on-line booksellers such as et al.
      Jettison is a science-fiction in the Star Trek-type space-opera category with strong alien characters (very strong women). It is actually the first of three books in the Kashin Saga. The lead romance goes across all three books. Yes, he does get the girl in this one - he just doesn't get to keep her.
      Author: Donnamaie E. White
      Photographer: Ron Jones
      Make Up: Doris Lew
      Model: Troy Sutter
      Photo Comp will be done by Chrome Digital
      Cover layout will be done by myself or a service bureau if my G4 doesn't get here (due before Christmas - direct from Apple. They promised.)
      Documenting photographer: Johnathan W. White, Manta Ray Photography
      Gun provided by (Evil Aliens Technology)

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Copyright 2000 Donnamaie E. White - White Enterprises
Material may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

May 30, 2000