Salt Lake City resident and author Bruce Bain, 61, was at the Eureka Casino Resort’s JS Merchant Saturday signing his book and talking with fans about it.
He wrote a song and then realized he could easily expand it into an entire story. That said he sat on it for a year and a half before finally deciding to jump in with both feet.
Bain was lingering on it and kept telling himself,” I am working on a book, I’m working on a book. Then I was, ‘I don’t want to keep saying I am working on a book, I want to do it’ so I buckled down and it took me about seven months.”
Editing took a little time as well, as it took a lot of time and a lot of changes, then it was finally done.
Since Bain opted to self-publish, he chose an editor who had been a one-time client and had worked with Richard Paul Evans, an American author who self-published “The Christmas Box,” which hit the New York Times best selling list, and the book was later picked up by Simon & Schuster. Evans Has published more than thirty books since then.
He told her about the book, and she decided to go for it.
“She kind of helped me through the process, editing it and went through all the ropes to get it on Amazon,” he said.
The artwork for the cover was not a challenge, he said, as he knew the artist beforehand.
“A former client and friend of mine who worked in the same building,” he said.
The artist had quit her job to work on her art full time, so he approached her about it, giving her an idea of what he wanted.
“She was really nervous about it,” he said.
She told Bain that she pictured herself as an artist selling a watercolor at the base of the Spanish Steps and went with that image to come up with the artwork.
“This was her first draft of it, and I saw it and said, ‘That’s perfect!’”
Once the art had been completed, the tough part of the process was format, which tends to be different for each platform, Bain explained. Print is different from Kindle format, etc.
The book was complete and published in July of 2018.
Bain does not have an audio version of the book yet, but he will be working on that next, and is also working on a sequel, but COVID-19 threw a wrench on his research trip to Tuscany.
The hardest part, Bain admits, was not the writing, editing, choosing formats and other things related to publishing, it’s the marketing of the book.
“I didn’t realize you’re only halfway there, you have to market it,” he said.
Marketing takes money and time, and Bain opted to do it himself, setting aside about the same about of time it took to write and publish it.
“I kinda stalled out a little bit.”
Bain works in sales and marketing, and despite that marketing his own book can be overwhelming and exhausting and he has a hard time marketing himself.
One of his friends told Bain not to think of it as marketing himself but as selling a character in the book instead.
“You have to detach yourself,” he said.
Bain said the most exciting part was almost the most terrifying part. Once the book was done and ready to be put on Amazon, that’s when the terror hit him.
“It’s like walking around with a hospital gown on, there was a big part of me that was hanging out in the breeze,” he laughed.
Bain took part in the Eureka’s third book signing event.
A second author, Craig Petersen of Mesquite, was also available at the event.
In his book, “Don’t Look Back You’re Not Going That Way”, Petersen outlines the first year of his sobriety and struggles.
Petersen said he wrote the book using his journals, which he has been keeping for about fifty years. Approximately twenty years ago, he reached a point in his life where he knew he had to change things.
“I found myself broken,” he said. He was an alcoholic — but did not want to admit it — was severely overweight, his relationships were failing, and his career went from a six-figure income to almost nothing overnight.
“I couldn’t pretend it was OK,” he said. Something told him he was either going to change or be dead.
Though he was agnostic, he got on his knees and prayed.
He looked up Alcoholics Anonymous, thinking he had to make an appointment because he didn’t know what it was or how it worked. Instead, he found a meeting place and went. When he entered the building, he saw some of the flyers on the wall outlining recovery steps and decided he couldn’t do it.
He turned to walk out, and someone stopped him, asking if he wanted to talk.
His recovery began that day.
“The book is about what it was like the first few days, the first few weeks and the first year,” he said.
Petersen said AA is built on helping others as well as oneself, so writing the book was an extension of that premise.
“One of the best ways to help is to let them know it’s going to be OK and you’re not alone,” he said.
That first year was wrought with a lot of ups and downs, he said. “It’s like driving a minivan down the freeway at 70 miles per hour … and then coming to a screeching halt. It stops, but you had a whole bunch of junk in the back, and it keeps flying. It flies for a long time.”
Getting sober is just like that.
Petersen’s book is available on Kindle and in print.
The next book signing event at JS Merchant is scheduled Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Roo Arledge, author of the “My Genie and Me Series,” and Mary Ann Mercier, author of “Dangle Wing” are scheduled to be there.
Richard Paul Evans: https://www.facebook.com/RPEfans