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Will publishing another book cure the itch I must scratch again?

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

It was nearly three years ago when I wrote about an experience in college that put me on the path to becoming a published author early in 2019.

Last year’s book – a compilation of 125 of my newspaper columns – sold out two printings and I made a few bucks. Friends and family still tease me that those one-page anecdotes are perfect for brief visits to the bathroom.

But that modest success of authorship persuaded me to write a novel and I began a quest to come up with a fictional tale that I could spin in about 50,000 words so that mainstream commercial publishing houses would consider it, hopefully.

My initial journey to a New York Times best seller (someday!) took a backseat about 50 years ago when my urge to write for the public steered me in another direction. Instead of writing books, my opportunity came in a series of jobs as a newspaper reporter and editor. 

Those experiences led to a 40-year career in collegiate public relations and then a return to journalism as a publisher and columnist. 

Today, toiling part-time in retirement at Maysville Community and Technical College has been a pleasant interlude but I’ve realized that the itch to write a book was not satisfied by the success of my first book, “The View From My Keyboard”.

But back to the novel which I stopped and started about a half dozen times. I finally finished it a few months ago and invited some friends and family members to read the manuscript of 50,800 words. Either out of love or friendship or pity, each of them liked it and encouraged me to seek a publisher.

As of today, I haven’t yet found a literary agent or acquisitions editor who likes my manuscript as much as I do. The title is “In the Shadow of War” and it is set in pre-World War II Europe. Please remember that you first read about it here in the Carter County Times. 

Meanwhile, I’m still determined to find a book publishing house that would like to print a great story from a good old boy from East Kentucky. 

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com.

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