WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?
Good question. I’m glad you asked. Here’s the story…
Pertinent Information (Documented 40 Years Ago) Discovered Days Before Roadblocks to Hell was to Hit the Presses!
February 27, 2008, Walt’s funeral – the day I realized I was to write Walt’s story.
Five years later, one fine day in January, 2013, I woke up with the absolute conviction the time had come. I began to write Roadblocks to Hell.
I researched online and off. I dug through boxes for pictures, cards and letters, postcards, newspaper articles – anything I could find. I set up interviews with key individuals and jotted down my outline.
4 Months and 185 Pages Later – “The Story is Finished!” – I Thought…
By the end of April, 2013, I proudly announced I had finished the first draft. I started looking for and working on the images/illustrations, and proudly announced that the book should be available in a few months. But God had other things in mind. Over the next 27 months I would revisit, revise and rewrite many more times.
Just when I thought I was finished, I’d have another crucial bit of important information come to mind. More often than not, this would happen in the morning upon waking. I had the strong conviction that I was to also weave this into the story.
The second last time I stopped the press, was when one of my brothers mentioned something I hadn’t addressed; something he thought might be important to the overall richness/completeness of the story. I agreed and jumped in to research his suggestions. This story was becoming less fictional and more factual with each edition and rewrite.
As I did my online research, even more NEW information surfaced, due to a recent rewrite of an archived newspaper article by a journalist living in California. One of his buddies, a retired RCMP member living in Burnaby, BC, was the officer critically wounded in a major incident recorded in my book.
Now I had insight into some of the victim’s thoughts and feelings at the time of the shootout, as well as thoughts and feelings 30+ years later.
More additions and rewriting.
The story jumped from 185 to 244 pages.
Trouble Getting Set Up on CreateSpace! as a Canadian
Once again, I thought this must be it; I must be finished.
Where and how to print the book. Research indicated Print On Demand was the way to go. We decided to use CreateSpace, a company connected with Amazon. I was excited, thinking this was the day – but we were having trouble getting important information onto the Create Space application forms.
It seemed we needed a certain US Tax number specific to Canadians in order to be listed with CreateSpace. Several years back we had applied for this number when registering with Amazon. We looked high and low for the folder where we had stored the information. Nowhere to be found. So I prayed, asking God to help us find that very important folder.
Where in the World is that IRS Folder?
After hours over several days of trying to solve the problem with no success, Win finally decided it was time to resort to giving the IRS a call. To our relief they were able to give us the number over the phone.
This had to be the solution. But, once again we hit a problem. CreateSpace forms would not accept the number. Several days later, still no success. No one at CreateSpace seemed to be able to help us. Why the delay? Were we to go elsewhere?
Then something very interesting happened. A day or so later, I was pulling out an empty file folder from a box where we store the “still useable” empty folders, and what fell out of the folder I grabbed? The misplaced tax information from IRS. The number given by the IRS representative and the number in the folder were ever so slightly different. I was jumping for joy now. I would never have thought to look in the empties. A God thing for sure.
Note: the letter from the IRS read – “This is your one and only notice from us. Keep this information and number in a safe place.”
Back to CreateSpace…this had to be it. But their system still would not accept our number!!. Now what? God, what are you saying?
(BTW – The IRS changed the process recently … now all we need is our Canadian SIN to register!)
More lost information suddenly appears!
I was soon to find out there was yet another reason why this book was not ready to be called “complete.”
My husband was rummaging in the storage shed when he discovered something I had long given up as tossed or lost.
While searching for some of his own important misplaced items, Win found an old box, slightly damaged, musty smelling – probably due for the garbage can papers, he thought. As he flipped through the dusty contents, a red duo-tang binder caught his attention.
Inside was a Psychology research paper – Random Impressions of the Prison System – a research essay presented to Jay McGilvery, Douglas College and submitted by Carrie Wachsmann.
Win put it in my hand and said, “You might want to have a look at this.”
Indeed I did. The document included a series of interviews I had done with the main character, Walther Colt, while he was incarcerated in Matsqui Institution in 1975. 40 years ago!!
My Lightening Fast Mind was Beginning Understand the Roadblocks!
I was shocked, grateful and elated – all at the same time.
I took the week to read and mull over the research paper. The find was oh so timely!
First, the contents confirmed many of my memories I had used in telling the story.
Secondly, I now had additional detailed information, as well as several conversations which would add significantly to the authenticity and overall impact of the story.
You can only imagine how grateful I was for all the “roadblocks” I had encountered while writing this book. If I had found that research paper anytime after it was published, – well I think every storyteller out there knows how that would make one feel.
Are We There Yet?
3 extra chapters and 20 more pages later, I hesitantly asked the Lord… “are we finished yet?”
As for CreateSpace… we thought we’d try one more time before going elsewhere. This time we got someone on the line who did know what we should do. It worked! – and now we could publish on CreateSpace as Canadians.
So – are we there yet?
“Not quite”, came the answer. We still had several proofs to work through with CreateSpace. When the 1st proof came back with a washed-out look throughout the book, I wasn’t satisfied. (The cover was great) CreateSpace made some suggestions. A few days later the second proof arrived. I admit I was disappointed – nothing had changed!
We contacted CreateSpace again and they checked the latest PDF submission once again, but this time it was sent to a specialized department. A couple of days later the report came back. I needed to go through the book to ensure all of the text and images were:
In gray mode and 100% black.
Some text was showing up without color specification and I had left some of the images and all the news articles in color mode.
For the next few days, I made all the corrections as per their specifications. I also re-proofed the book several more times and…wouldn’t you know it, found more minor errors.
Once again I was thankful for the delays.
We notified CreateSpace that changes had been made and ordered a third proof copy.
Click on the picture above or click on Amazon. com to order the book.
(BTW, due to the complications, CreateSpace only charged for the first proof copy. Overall our experience with CreateSpace has been excellent.)
And thank you HEARTBEAT PRODUCTIONS for an awesome job of PUBLISHING.
And the Moral of The Story is…?
When I’m running into roadblocks and I just can’t seem to get that writing project signed, sealed and delivered…maybe there’s a reason. If I believe God put this on my heart to do, then He’ll let me in on what’s going on. My job is to trust Him, to ask Him to show me, guide me and give me insight.
Wisdom is ours for the asking. Expect an answer. Wait patiently, and the answer will come.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait on the Lord.”
To order your copy, click on the title here:
Carrie is an ordained minister and has a M.Min (Professional Writer), and D.Min (Fine Arts and Media).