Saturday, March 25, 2006

I'm Published!!

Well, I finally did it. As I arrived home from a business trip yesterday, following me to the door was the Fedex man delivering a box. I opened the box and there were my first actual printed copies of my book, “The Handbook of Everyday Wisdom. A user’s guide to living.”. I am now officially a published author!
I have waited a long time and worked long and hard toward this goal, and I must say that it feels great to finally get to this point.

Six years ago, my doctor told me that in about eight years, I would probably have a heart attack, and that I would probably not survive it because I was too overweight. This forced me to do several things:

1) I needed to do something drastic to try to lose weight to prolong my life as much as I could, and possibly beat the odds - at least long enough to help my daughter grow through to adulthood and to make sure she was self-sufficient.
2) I wanted to start writing and recording music again, because I wanted to leave behind a legacy of my music.
3) I wanted to write a book, and have it published.

I feel that the responsibility of a parent to a child goes far beyond simply providing food, shelter, clothing, and safety. I think that a parent has the responsibility to pass on the lessons learned and the rules of the road to their children. They should show them where all the potholes are. I realized that Megan would only be 18 by the time I was set to die, and I knew that there would be many lessons still to pass on to her by then. I wanted very much to be there for her and to help her through all those years to come. So I resolved to try to lose weight, and save myself for her sake, but also, if I was not successful, then I wanted to encapsulate all I had learned and pass it on to her so she would have the essence of my teachings and advice and guidance even though I was not there. Anytime she would have looked to me for advice on something, I wanted her to have all my thoughts and guidance there for her - close to hand. So this book was originally intended as a guide to life for my daughter Megan, in the event of my death.

Most people leave behind pictures of themselves that their family and friends might use to remember them by. I wanted to leave behind a piece of myself for her. This book is a piece of me. It contains the boiled down essense of my thoughts and feelings and lessons and observations on many topics. The first section contains the "Laws of the Universe". These are the immutable laws which affect everything in the universe, from people to planets. Then there are the lessons in life. These are based upon people. They are about how to interact with other people, how to face challenges, and how to approach many aspects of life. I spent a good amount of time taking out unnecessary words and making each lesson as concise and succinct as possible. They are reduced down to one line, if possible, to make it easier to remember. It's like a book of famous sayings, but they are my sayings. Who knows? Maybe one day they will be famous. You never know. Anything is possible.

As it turned out, I went on the Atkins diet and lost 70 lbs. Even though, I gained back about 18 of those pounds over the past 2 years, I think I am in much better shape physically than I was back then, and I doubt that I will die in 2 years now as originally predicted. But nevertheless, (and just in case), I have written this book. Megan now has her guidebook through some of the subtle aspects of life. And, it is my hope that in publishing it, others may benefit from it too.

I searched for a publisher, and tried writing letters to publishing agents, etc. but it is difficult to find a publisher if you are a first time author. Finally I found Tate Publishing. They are a Christian publishing company based in Oklahoma City, OK. They decided to publish my book even though it has nothing to do with religion or specific Christian philosophy. They will be distributing it to Christian bookstores, but also they will be selling through the regular bookstores as well. So Borders, and Chapters, and Barnes & Noble, and their websites,, etc. Will all carry it.

The official release date is May 30th, 2006, but they can be pre-ordered now from Tate publishing’s website. The link is here.

This is not my first time having something in print, and it's not my first time writing a book. I once wrote a book on Backgammon, which was published on a limited basis just for college bookstores. But that was so limited, that I didn't truly consider that being "published". And also, in 1992 I wrote a book called, "Implementing Decision Support Systems in Large Organizations", but for various reasons, I decided not to publish it. for one thing, by the time I finished writing it, some of the technology I was describing in detail was already obsolete and being replaced by other technology and techniques. By the time it was published, it would have been useless.
Then, I did the illustrations for a book called, "Don't Get Me Started" written by Susan Mackie-Smith. That one was published in Canada, and that is where I originally got the name for this Blog.
So I did have some other writing experiences, however, this is the first time that I have written the whole book, and had it published for the general public and available in stores and online.
This is a moment of accomplishment for me.

If you want to buy a copy, you can buy it at the link above to Tate Publishing. If you want a signed copy, email me at and you can pay online with Paypal, and give me your name, address, etc. and I'll send you one with a little note in it for you.



At 4/03/2006 10:23 PM, Anonymous jbecklover said...

Hi Val,
Congratulations! As you know, I've read and used the tips you suggested from your website. They work and they make sense. But compare to the book, the book looks bigger! I can only imagine what other wisdom are within the pages.

At 4/04/2006 8:10 AM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

Hi Amie,
Thank you! I'm glad if my advice has been helpful to you. But you don't have to just imagine what else is in there - you can get the book for yourself! In fact, I was kind of hoping some people might buy it. I'm sure my publisher is hoping for that too! (smile).
You can use the link in this post to order it from the publisher, or
in fact, I'd be happy to send you a signed one, if you order it from me., Barnes&,, etc. will all have it soon too (but those won't be signed of course)

At 4/05/2006 1:48 AM, Anonymous jbecklover said...

I'd love an autographed one. I'll
e-mail you my info.

At 9/27/2007 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Tate really distribute your books to all bookstores. We have a book just released and we can't even get them to our own church after call after call to them. I was just wandering did they fulfill your contract.

Thank you

At 3/12/2008 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, i was just wondering if you were really satisfied with Tate. I saw alot of negatives online about them. I have submitted a manuscript to them recently and haven't heard back.


At 6/30/2008 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you have to pay Tate to publish your book? I've heard that Tate demand nearly $4000 but there is no mention of it on their site.

Are you happy with them?

At 3/11/2011 11:47 AM, Anonymous molly said...

HI- I would love to talk to you about your experiences with Tate, as it has been several years since your release date. You can find me at my blog where you can send me an email. I can then email back if you are willing to chat. I have been offered a contract, but would love to discuss something things. Thanks so much! Molly


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