Today, I am launching a new occasional feature on the Frankfort Writers Center blog called Words to Life where I’ll highlight the work I do with clients. In addition to describing the client project I’ve helped them with, I also highlight other aspects of their writing and/or their work so you can get to know them a little more. I hope their stories will inspire you as you bring your own Words to Life.
Meet Doug Mennen. Doug is a 1985 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree from the School of Technology. He has worked in real estate development and has completed numerous multi million dollar projects. In addition to real estate and writing, he works with his wife, Kym Flock-Mennen, at her business, Indiana Wellness, which specializes in anti-aging therapies. He lives in Lafayette with his wife and their two sons, Leighton and Jerrick.
Doug hired me to edit his political thriller, Purple Reason, and to help him self-publish the book through CreateSpace, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, and the eBook platform Smashwords.
Recently, I asked Doug a few specific questions about his writing process and what led him to self-publish.
Charity Singleton Craig: How long have you been writing?
Doug Mennen: I started the book about 19 years ago as a self challenge. I just wanted to see if I could write a novel length story. I got about 30,000 words in and our first child was born and the book was put aside.
CSC: What led you to write Purple Reason?
DM: I wanted the story to communicate the frustration I and many others feel with the two party-system in American politics.
CSC: What’s it about?
DM: An Independent has been elected President of the United States, and the two traditional Parties are not at all happy about the changes being proposed. President Jackson Niles knows that the fight to bring real change to Washington could get ugly, but what comes out along the way is far worse than he ever imagined.
CSC: How long did it take you to write it?
DM: I started in on the book again in 2012 after I shattered my foot in a construction accident. So if I strung together the weeks I actually worked on the project it would probably be about three years.
CSC: How did you decide to hire and editor and self publish? What factors influenced your decision?
DM: I really had no idea about many of the technical aspects of writing. Hiring an editor and in my case a pre-editor was absolutely critical. There is no way this book ever gets completed without the help of professionals. In terms of self publishing, I never really considered another option. The idea of writing query letters and handing over control to a publisher does not appeal to me at all.
CSC: What is your goal with self-publishing? How’s it going so far?
DM: I don’t have perspective with this since it’s all new to me. We decided to offer the ebook as a free download for an initial period which seems to be common. During that week the book made it up to #3 in the political thriller genre so I guess that part has gone well. No I wait and see if all those free downloads translate into actual sales.
CSC: What is your next writing project?
DM: I plan to write a sequel to Purple Reason and I also have a few other subjects I would like to work on.
To find out more about Doug, visit him on Facebook. Purple Reason is available to order from Amazon and most online retailers.