I guess after all these years of yapping about it a formal book release announcement is last Tuesday’s news, but ta da! -today is my day.
My book is now officially released. I was gonna tell you last week, but my agent made me wait. There were a few glitches in the Amazon link and the publisher wanted all the corrections to filter through the Internet before we went live and activated our website link.
Somehow people found it anyway, though. Felix Miller bought the first copy. After just a few days the Amazon rank of “The Mandolin Case” went from 3 million to just over 100,000 in the world. I’m not sure how they found it, or who else bought it. This Internet is pretty big, I guess. I figure if I can get inside the top 100K and someday sell 3,001 copies that’s a hit for this country boy.
Boy Scouts honor, my agent called last night to say it made it to number 56 in Amazon’s “country” book category before it was released. Beats anything I’ve ever heard of.
No one is an island, and this is more true for me than anyone. I can’t name everyone I should thank, but a short list includes my wife and kids, office staff, patients, agent, editor, picking pals, and blog buddies. It takes a community to make a writer out of a doctor and y’all did it.
My folks weren’t too involved in this process; I felt like at their age they didn’t need the drama, but my Dad taught me to work hard and my Mom instilled my love of books. She put me in speed reading as a kid when I wanted to play baseball instead. I owe her all. I dread her reading the cuss words; it’s just not her style. I had to show the truth, though. (I’d rate my book PG-13 for language and tangential references to sex.)
My book will not make everyone happy. Along the way some folks didn’t understand me. Without fail they were the rich and powerful. My wife said it was the plaid shirts and the mandolin. One big shot said, “You tell him I don’t negotiate with a hillbilly.”
He has since retired. I do not know the circumstances.
I had to write it. After a lifetime in medicine I’m not the least bit cynical. I live by the 80/20 rule. I believe most people in medicine (and likely other walks of life I don’t know as much about) are good and want to do right. They fall in the eighty percent category.
The trick is how to deal with the other twenty percent. All you have to do is figure out what motivates them, be it power, money, etc, and push the right buttons. Then you can put them in a position where they have no choice but to do right. They won’t like it, but they’ll go along because they have to.
You remember Tom Cruise in “The Firm?” In the story he managed to get the Mafia positioned where it was in their best interest to stay at arm’s length. I didn’t deal with devious behavior of that degree, but it was the same dynamic nonetheless. At the end of the movie Cruise responded to someone who semi-apologized and said something like, “No, you did me a favor. The rest of my life I gotta look over my shoulder and worry every time I turn the ignition key my car might blow up, but you made me remember why I got into law to start with.”
I am what I seem, a simple country boy who just wanted to raise a family, help a few people, and play music on my weekends off. I never forgot why I went into medicine, but I gotta admit a few people along the way did things that forced me to examine my position to a greater depth.
When you run into a bully, remember me. I’m like a bullfighter. I know that old bull is a lot bigger and stronger than I am. The brute is about half-testosterone poisoned and could kill me with one head-butt. I have to out-smart him. So, I’ll use a cape to obscure the brick wall behind it. I’ll wave it like a red flag and smile. “Please don’t charge through that cape, pal. I know you are big and strong, but I don’t think you can do it.”
He’ll snort around and paw the ground in a fury. “No matador in a plaid shirt’s gonna tell me what to do.”
Then he’ll charge headlong into the cape, and I’ll whisk it to the side at the last second. Of course, the bull crashes into the brick wall and gets knocked out. When he wakes up, he’ll ask what happened.
What I never understood is the next time he’ll do it all over again. You can count on it.
So, with “The Mandolin Case” and the series to follow I hope to show how to not let the bull (or bullies) run over you, just like Indie taught me. Who knows, it might come in handy for you someday.
By definition if you enjoy my book, you are in the 80 group and not the 20. All I want to do is help you stay there. Perhaps you can enable your people to thrive too. What the bad guys don’t understand is that all of us who long for grace and dignity depend on each other, and we’re thick as thieves. To this day they still don’t know what hit ’em. (They ran into a brick wall!)
So, now my book is out there. You can order it via my website. The link is www.themandolincase.com If by some chance that link fails you, go to Amazon.com, check out the books category and search for “The Mandolin Case.” I’ve been told it is all operational now.
As always, any feed-back is appreciated. If you find errors, I’ll correct them. Doc’ll take all the help he can get in life. I appreciate all of you and thank you for sticking with me.
All the best,