~The Plot of My Book~

~ My First Book~

May-June Release!

"The Anne Marie"

Newfoundlands are considered to be one of the most loyal breed of dogs. It is said that once one of the giant water-dogs bonds with a human, they can never bond with another. Atticus Stockton is a Newfoundland who loses his precious master in the sinking of a fishing boat off of Maine's rocky coast. Now alone, Atticus finds that he is unwanted, and as the big dog struggles to find a new home he is also plagued with the dreams from his once perfect world. Can he find a home, and if he does can he ever love another human again?

Monday, April 25, 2011

I have moved to israelparker.com

I have moved to israelparker.com - please come and check out my awesome new website!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sorry Folks - Almost Finished with israelparker.com


I am sorry I haven't posted anything in two weeks.  Currently I am hard at work on building Israelparker.com.  The site should be up in just a few more short weeks.  When the site goes live, I will begin blogging at israelparker.com.  I apologize for the inconvenience, but with growth comes growing pains.  I promise that you will love the site, and I cant wait to continue to tell my stories via my new venue.

Thank you,


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Leaving Home Part 2:

Leaving Home Part 2:

I changed some names in this story…

The next day I called Alicia’s dad and asked if he was able to find a recruiter.
"Sure did,” he said, "Do you have a pen so I can give you the number?"
I scrambled to find a pen.
“I got one, what is it?"
As he gave me the number, I wrote it down with the excitement of a person my age.
I hung up the phone and then stared at the number.  I felt butterflies in my stomach.
 I dialed the number.
The 1-800 number forwarded me to the nearest recruiting office, which was in Phoenix AZ.  I left a message.  It was Sunday after all.  
And then I waited.
Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from the recruiter.
“Hi is Israel Parker there?’ the voice asked on the other end.
“This is he.”
“My name is Chief Nash.  I'm a recruiter for the Coast Guard”
“Hey sir, I was trying to get some information on the Coast Guard.”
“Well you came to the right place…shoot?”          
Now that I had been put on the spot, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say or ask so I said nothing.  “Are you still there, Israel?”
“Yes sir, I mean…do you have any info you can send me so I can find out a little more about the Coast Guard?
“Sure thing Israel, just give me your address,” he said with a slight chuckle.
I gave Chief Nash my address, and then without really asking any questions or him telling me anything, I got off the phone.
A few days later in my government class, which was a class for seniors only, the teacher asked us all what we would be doing after we got out of high school.  A couple said college and a couple said the army.  Then he looked at me, probably because it was the quietest I had been in his class all year and asked “Israel what are you going to do after high school?”
“I don’t know, I might join the Coast Guard.”
“The Coast Guard” he repeated with some thought to his eyebrows, “hmmm…interesting”
“Yeah I’m still up in the air about it.”
After bell rang my teacher called me back and asked me " the Coast Guard, huh?"
"Yeah sir, it seems pretty cool."
"You know, Israel I almost joined the Coast Guard" my teacher told me.
"Oh yeah."
" I always kind’ a regretted it.  I think that's the key to life, Israel.  Living without regrets."
In the next few days, I received a manila envelope in the mail with a slew of Coast Guard material; and I spent the next few weeks pouring over it, reading everything there was in the pamphlet, and then read it again.
 Two jobs stood out to me:  Aviation Survival Man and Gunner’s Mate.  Shooting and fixing guns I thought would be kind of cool, and that was what a gunners mate did.  Aviation Survival Men were also Rescue Swimmers, which was a concept that was only a decade old in the Coast Guard.  
“Hmm,” I thought and then I went over to Alicia’s house to discuss it with her father.
“These jobs look kind of cool, what do you think?”
“Hmm,” he thought as he too poured through the material, they do look kind of cool.
I remember going home that night and feeling a sense of promise like I had never felt before.  The thought of leaving town and starting something brand new filled me with what I can only describe now as hope.
 The Coast Guard would be somewhere and something that I would only have.
A couple of days after, Chief Nash called me up again, “Hey Israel, I will be in Las Vegas in a couple of days to talk to some others wanting to join the Coast Guard.  If you would like to meet up and talk, I will do my best to answer all of your questions.”
I was excited at the prospect of having a Coast Guard member to talk to.
A couple of weeks passed and Chief Nash came to Henderson and met me at a boys and girls club. He sat down and we talked about what job field interested me.  ASM huh?" he said with a smile. 
"Yeah that sounds like a pretty cool job."
"Those guys run and swim like 5 miles a day."
"Awesome" I said not really knowing the gravity of the training program.
After the conversation, I was set on becoming a Coastie.  I told Chief Nash that I would like to have my summer before I went in, and he said that would be fine.
"Here is a checklist of everything you need to have completed before you come to MEPS for your physical. "
The two main things on the checklist were taking the ASVAB and having a dental screening. 
I took my ASVAB and then went to the dentist for the first time in my life.  I surprisingly only had one cavity.
I graduated from high school and worked through the summer until my last month of civilian life.
So that last month, I went to every party and I did everything I could do before I left for boot camp.  A couple of days before I left, I had a party at Richie's parent’s house. There I said goodbye to my best friend since third grade.
"Good luck, my friend.  I'm proud of you."  He told me on his back porch.  "I think you're making the right decision for yourself. "
"So do you think you'll marry Christie?"  I asked about he and Christie who were high school sweet hearts whom I had introduced. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Leaving Home: Part 1

Henderson Nevada, 1998

I called the Marine Corps recruiter in April of 1998 and inquired about going into the Marine Corps.  I didn’t feel I had anywhere else to go.  I knew that if I stayed at home I would probably get myself into trouble.  
College was for rich or smart people.  
“Recruiting officer” the Sergeant on the other end answered when I called.
“Yeah I’m kind’a thinking about joining up with the Marine Corps,” I said haphazardly.
Now that I think back and knowing what I know now, I imagine a wolf in a Marine Corps uniform on the other end of the phone.  His tail wagging and hot saliva dripping from his sharp grin.
“We are looking for commitment,” he said or some variation like it.
“Well I think I have what it takes,” I said sheepishly.
The next thing I new, I was receiving at our house no less than two telephone calls a day from the recruiter.  It was here that flags started going up in my mind.  It seemed to me that if they only took the best or the most committed then they shouldn’t seem so desperate.
A few weeks later I was at my buddy's girlfriend’s house.  I remember there were blue skies, the kind where there wasn’t an ounce of white in them.  These are typical skies for Las Vegas or Henderson.  We had finished swimming and were drinking some cokes in their backyard when the “after high school” conversation came up.  My friends were discussing universities, and then I said within earshot of Alisha’s father that I was thinking about joining the Marine Corps.  Most everyone there had already known this, however this was Alisha’s father's first time hearing the news.  
“The marines?” he asked with a hard face.
“Yeah,” I said drinking my coke with the sun beating down on my face.
“Why in the hell would you go and do something like that?”
“I don’t know, I don’t really want to stay in Henderson.
“College?” he smirked.
“I can’t afford it.”
“Well I joined the Coast Guard when I got out of high school.  If your going to join something, at least join them.”
The Coast Guard.
“Can you even just join the Coast Guard?” I asked.
“Hell yeah you can, it's just like any other branch, only not so stupid,”
“What the hell does the Coast Guard do anyway?”
Wrapped in a towel as the sun went down Alisha’s dad sat me down and began to pull out all sort of Coast Guard information, pictures.  He even pulled down his wedding picture that was in the hallway where he was wearing a Coast Guard uniform.  I had been over there so many times before; how had I never seen this before.  He was a RD, or a Radarman, and had been aboard a Coast Guard Cutter, which the Coast Guard called its ships.
By the end of the evening, I was convinced.  When I went home that night, I opened the phone book to the recruiting page and looked for the Coast Guard recruiter.  There wasn’t one listed.  So the next day I called Alisha’s dad and asked if he knew where I could find a Coast Guard recruiter.  
“I'll look it up on the internet,” he said, “and I’ll get back to you.”
That night, as I could not sleep, I was up until three in the morning watching TV and thinking about a life in an organization to which I had literally no knowledge.  Then suddenly as if fate had swooped down on me - a Coast Guard commercial came on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a few days.  I am reviewing my book edits made by my good pal Matt Hooper.  I will post something soon, I promise.

A few things on the horizon.

Jager and Roxanne: Part 3

The Goat Story: Billy the Goat

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Blank Canvas

 Fine Artist: Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

The Blank Canvas

It can be argued that when we are young the promise and endless potential that we possess is as infantile as a stark naked canvas.  When Elizabeth St. Hilaire was young, she wanted nothing more than to be an artist.  Her family wasn't sure.  But she persevered and even landed herself a spot in the esteemed Syracuse art program. 
The dreams and friends we meet in these critical years are where the picture begins to form and take its shape.  This was no different for Elizabeth.  She thrived at her new institution, both with her artwork as well with the new friends she made.  Everything was going swimmingly for the young Elizabeth. 
So now I ask you to imagine yourself in the prime of your life.  You are doing well in school, and you are on your way to Europe with your friends to study art.  
You’re in art’s Mecca.
It's the time of your life. 
Christmas is so close you can smell it in the distance.  It smells like cinnamon.
As your friends begin to pack to leave, you decided to stay behind for a bit longer,  to learn and see more.  
“See ya later,” you say as they leave, “I’ll see you when I get back.”
When you are that age, a week or two is nothing but a chance to obtain another adventure.
You wave your friends goodbye as they step on board their Pan-Am flight. 
It is December 21st and the year is 1988. 
The airplane which your friends step onto is Pan-Am flight 103. 
It is the last time you ever see any of them again.
The news of the Lockerbie disaster reaches you hard and fast, breath is hard to find.  The news is too much, too horrific, and too much to bear. 
All passengers gone. 
All of your friends gone. 
A terrorist attack, a bomb. 
Their faces fill your head.
This is a fragmented portion of Elizabeth's life. 
We’ve all heard the cliché that misery and tragedy inspire great art.  In my own darkest hours, I have found that the aforementioned does not work as inspiration per se.  We do not draw from horrific events, but rather these events force us to look inward and evaluate our own self worth.  These events ensure that we move forward with the wind of those lost at our backs.  We become more than ourselves, because we live for more than just for ourselves. 
Elizabeth St. Hilaire embodies this persona.  She is a talented person, whom I believe has always been talented, however she is a fine artist with a commitment to not only herself but also to those who boarded that plane all those years ago.  Her art is the beauty she brushes to the ground as she moves onward through life, and I am so proud to watch as its beauty graces my own existence. 

Dedicated to the Souls of Pan-Am 103

Israel J Parker

Thursday, February 17, 2011



So in this process that I am in, the independent writing process that is, I have been a bit worried about the artwork that would appear on the cover of my book.  Not knowing much about artwork per say, I knew that I would be at the whim of the self-publishing company’s discretion.  That is until the day before yesterday.  Not to give anything away about one of the main characters in my book, but one of these characters happens to be a painter.   So I have always envisioned my cover to be some sort of painting. 
The day before yesterday I had a middle school class guest edit my posting, so I was on my blog looking to see if there were any comments on the fantastic job they had done, there was not by the way.
When I accidently clicked on the “NEXT BLOG” button at the top of my blog’s page. 

That’s when it happened, and the next thing I know I was staring at this beautiful piece of art.  It looked like a painting, however as I looked closer I could see that it wasn’t brush strokes that made up the delicate lines through out this captivating piece of art.  What I was looking at was what looked like torn paper delicately placed together in a truly remarkable way. 
The result- AMAZING.
So I posted on this stranger’s blog- Hey if your interested I have written a book and I think your artwork would be perfect for the cover.
To my surprise the artist emailed me back right away – She was interested.
A phone conversation later and it was done.  This super talented artist is going to do a custom painting for the cover of my book.
 I couldn’t believe it.

I am posting the link to this wonderful artist and a piece of her work because I want to show her amazing talents off.  She is quickly becoming a big name in the art community, and on top of it all she is a pretty damn nice lady too.  So please go and check out her unbelievable artwork.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Kid Down the Street

                                      The kid Down the Street

Henderson, Nevada

There was this kid who lived down the street from me named Steve. I hadn't thought about him for a long time. I was driving home the other day when his face and story entered my mind.
Steve was about the same age as I was; actually, he was a year older. I remember this because he was in high school and I was in eighth grade. Steve’s little brother was a year younger than me.  Steve was Filipino and his mother, on the few occasions that I saw her, spoke almost no English, but his dad was white and kind of a nerdy looking fellow.
I remember think about what an odd couple they were.
Their house was more beat up than ours and Steve’s dad's car was an old, blue Honda.
I once asked Steve where his dad worked, to which he replied, "My dad works in a top secret facility at Nellis Air Force Base on the other side of town.
It was true that there was a Nellis Air Force Base, but I was positive then, and am positive now, that Steve’s father did not work there.
The mixture of Steve’s parents made his skin light, not as light as his little brother’s, but light nonetheless His face, though, was very much Filipino.
I didn't hang out with Steve very often, but I did take notice when he began running with a tougher, older crowd.
Pretty soon, loud rap music would blare from his garage. As my family drove by his house, we would see Steve out front with his new friends, all sporting wife-beaters and dickies. They also all wore the same kind of sunglasses that everyone in the neighborhood referred to as “lokes”.
Soon after, my bike went missing from my garage. Someone in the neighborhood said that Steve had taken it, but I dare not go and inquire about it.
I had an older brother who was older and stronger than Steve, a person whom I knew to be as tough as they come; however, he too knew not to mess with Steve’s crowd.
Then quiet.
Without warning, Steve's family suddenly moved away.
Then, I heard it at school.  Some kids who were friends with Steve’s little brother told everyone.
They had found Steve’s body in the desert. His hands had been bound behind his back and shot in the back several times. The story was that Steve had attempted to rob a convenience store, and the owners overtook him. They then bound his hands and put him in their trunk, drove him into the desert, shot him, and left his body out there to rot.
His body lay there in the desert for several weeks. It had been bitten and chewed on by all kinds of vultur-isk type of creatures.
I remember watching the news that night, but there was nothing on about it. It was old news by then.
Old news.

Thank you to Mr. Hooper’s English class for all you help on this posting, and a very special thanks you to Leanne Wang who was my special guest editor.  Leanne you are very talented and I was very impressed by your mad skills.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Roxanne and Jager: Part 2

Roxanne and Jager: Part 2

Mobile, Alabama 2001

So James and I headed home from the flea market with our new basset hound puppy, which we had named Roxanne. 
How do you think Jager's gonna take to her? - James asked me. 
Umm...he'll be fine with it- 
We pulled into the driveway of my house and as we got out of the car, Dave, our neighbor, approached and saw what I was carrying. 
You've got to be kidding- he laughed in the same way you do when a buddy trips and falls on his face. 
We'll at least you didn't get a goat- he remarked. 
This reference was not just a joke.  The fact of the matter was it had almost been a reality. I had been talking a lot about getting a goat or even a small pig for that matter, this talk was usually brought on by a few beers and an excess of poor judgment.  Later on while at a local bar across Mobile Bay, I almost purchased a goat. His name was “Billy the Goat”, but that's another story altogether. 
 Dave, James, and I went into our house to introduce Roxanne to Jager. 
When we opened the door Jager was sitting there on the couch watching TV; well he may have not been watching it for real, but that's how it looked. We didn't like the thought of him getting lonely so we had started leaving James’ TV on when we left. 
Hey buddy- I called to Jager- what’cha doing?
Jager yawned and slowly got off the couch.  His life had made a leisurely turn in the few months since we had acquired him. 
Jager came over and sniffed at Roxanne as I placed her onto the ground. The big black dog with the green eyes walked over to the basset hound and looked at her. 
Then he did something quite curious. He lifted a paw and swiped it across the face of Roxanne, knocking her to the ground. 
No!- we all screamed. 
Go lay down!- I said with a parental tone. 
Jager went and lay down, and I picked up Roxanne and took her to my bedroom. 
I sure hope he's not going to act like this all the time- I thought. 
When I got to my room little Roxanne was already back asleep, she looked too peaceful and sweet. I kissed her little head and gently placed her in the middle of my bed where she stayed asleep. 
She probably wants some water- I thought and then returned to the living room, tip-toeing while I walked. When I got to the living room, James and Dave were both sitting with Jager on the couch. 
She's asleep- I said- I'm gonna give her some water. Then I looked at Jager- hey bud what’s your problem?
The black dog gave no answer.
Ahh, he's just a little jealous is all- Dave said. 
In the kitchen I filled a small water bowl, and then returned to my bedroom.  Including the time I talked with the guys in the living room and filled up the bowl, I was gone less than a minute. 
When I opened the door to my bedroom the smell hit me and then I saw… 
It was shaped into a pleasant looking swirl that at the time reminded me of dairy queen soft serve. It was almost the same size as the little dog in both length and girth. 
It was a formidable sight. 
Roxanne, of course, was sleeping peacefully next to it as if nothing happened. 
This, of course, was a sign of more to come. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jager: Part One

Jager: Part One

Mobile, Alabama 2001

Before I wrote the story of Roxanne, I should have started with the tale of Jager, the best dog I have ever known.  These events begin six months prior to James and I acquiring Roxanne at the Flea Market.

Jager was a black lab, which we didn't exactly acquire through one hundred percent “legal” means. Well if it was a matter of what was right, yeah we did what was right, but did we ask for permission, not exactly. 
When I moved into the small old house on the west side of Mobile, I did so with a bartender at a local TGIF named James. James was cool guy who I had met during my countless hours at the TGIF’s bar.  He seemed nice, and I needed a roommate; plus we both had an affinity for the drink, so the fit was perfect. When James and I moved in though, we felt like something was missing. 
A dog. 
After about two weeks of living in our new house a neighbor down the street, whom for the purpose of this story I will call Jane, told us a story about some guy she knew, and how he had a black lab pup tied to the front tree of his house. 
It seems some evening operations are an order – I thought. 
So after a few short moments of contemplation, I went with Jane in her minivan to see this poor creature. When Jane and I showed up, the sight was as bad as I thought it would be.  It was a little black male Labrador puppy chained to an old oak tree by way of a thick heavy chain.  The sad little dog was lying there on the ground on its side, and by the look of the size of the chain, it didn’t even look like the little guy could get up.
 He looks pretty pathetic – Jane said.
Yeah he does-
I tried calling the pound to see if they could do anything about the situation, but they said no- Jane added.
Is anyone home-
No, the truck is gone-
I’m taking him-
After quick work with quicker hands, I had the black lab in the minivan and was headed back to my house.
When I got back home, James and Dave, our next-door neighbor, were waiting out in front of my house.
Our next-door neighbor Dave was a big guy, that most of our friends referred to as Da’ Bull, and whom I referred to as both friend and master chef on many occasions for his mastery with the food and drink.
I got the back lab out of the mini-van and said thank you to the woman down the street for taking me over to get the dog.
-I’m just glad he’s going to a good home is all, it’d be a shame for any ole dog to be tied up to a tree all their life.
I agree- I returned.
Looking back, after that day I hardly ever said more than two words to Jane.  Even though she had given me one of the best friends of my life.
It was now James, Dave, the black Labrador, and I standing in my front yard this spring night.  We all looked at each other and laughed at the act that had just taken place.
While we talked, the black lab just stood there and watched us.
So what should we name him?- James asked.
I haven’t gotta clue- I responded.
Maybe we should all have a couple beers to help us think it over- Dave suggested.
It seemed like a fair idea.
Come on boy – we hollered out to the back lab as we headed into the house – but he did not follow us.
I went back to the dog and pulled on his nape, yet the dog would not budge.
Come on boy- I encouraged.
I’ll go grab one of our dog’s leashes – Dave said and then retreated back into his house.
Dave had three dogs of his own.
He came out with the leash and then we put it around the black lab's neck.  Come on boy- I said pulling on the leash.
The black lab would not move – instead he just sat there.
In fact the more we tried to move him the more insistent he became on sitting in one spot.
Finally James picked up the black dog, and we carried him in the house.
Guess he’s just never been on a leash before – I said.
I guess not- James returned.
So the three of us sat there drinking beer in my living room staring at our new dog, discussing his fate, and trying to figure out what we were going to name him.
How about Jake – someone suggested.
The night had almost come to an end and we all had since become quite familiar with the drink.
You guys wanna do some shots- James inquired.
Sure – Dave and I agreed.
At that point in my life, and after a few beers, shots were a nightcap routine.
So we all went into the kitchen and opened the freezer where we kept the ice-cold bottle of Jagermeister.
I looked at the bottle and then I looked down at the black lab that had, now slowly, followed us into the kitchen.
I think he’s beginning to like us- James added as the black Labrador stood next to us.
Just then the light from the kitchen hit the black labs eyes, and they shimmered a color of emerald green.
The black lab had green eyes; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before.
 At the same time James held the green bottle of Jagermeister in his hand.
Why don’t we call him Jager- I said.
And it was done.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I submitted for my copyright today.  My book is now protected.  If you look to the top of this Blog you will note that I added the title of my book to its short description.  I went to Legalzoom, it took 10 minutes and cost $134.00, not too shabby.

“The Anne Marie”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roxanne: Part One

Roxanne: Part One
So I was thinking I should counter my last blog with a happier story. So here we go, this is the story of how I obtained my sweet Roxanne, and the battle of wills that ensued...
Mobile, Alabama - June 2001
So I bought Roxanne, my Basset Hound, at the flea market, and if you've never seen a basset hound puppy live in person be warned, there my not be a more cute animal in existence. It was over nine years ago, I was cruising the flea market with my old roommate James in search for interesting belt-buckles. For some reason I had a strange fascination with belt buckles at the time. So James and I were walking the booths when this overweight southern gent in denim overalls smiled at me and asked me if I was interested in some Basset Hound pups. I looked at him and his grin, and the wad of tobacco pushed into the deep recesses of his lower lip  -No thanks.
But then I looked down.
There were these long velvet eared creatures, and as sure as the sun will shine I felt myself begin to melt.
I looked to my left, at James, and he too bore the twinkle in his eye, the same to which I instantly felt in my heart.
Those are the cutest things I have ever seen- James said.
So we were at a cross roads. 
How much are they- I asked. 
Two-hundred- the man said following this with a spit into a paper cup.
I looked down.
There amongst the puppies was one, a small one, she was sleeping. Her white nose was freckled with brown spots. 
One-hundred and fifty- I returned. 
Growing up in Las Vegas, and having been to my fair share of flea markets, I slipped into barter mode with the ease of a Sunday afternoon. 
These are papered dogs friend-the big man said and again emptied his spittle into his paper cup. 
One-fifty or I'm walking. 
Alright James let's go.
And with that we started to walk away. 
Alright, one-sixty is as low as I can go. 
I turned and smiled- done!
So I picked up my new little Basset.  She was still sleeping so when I took her small body into my hands and lifted her in the air I awoke her.  The little dogs blue puppy eyes opened, and met mine. 
Roxanne- I said - naming her instantly.

To be continued........

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So Why Dogs?

So why Dogs?
So some might wonder why is my first book about a dog, I mean why dogs?  Well the short answer is, I love dogs.  They have always been a part of my life, my parents have always had dogs, and I now carry on that same tradition in my family with our two dogs.
Dog’s are about as noble a creature as anything on this earth.  They love you unconditionally, which most of us cannot, or will not do.  The only problem with dogs in my mind is their short lifespan.  This fact taught me one tough lesson as a young boy.  When I was twelve, because no one in my family had the stomach for it, I took our aging Siberian Husky, Shadow to the vet to be put down.  My sisters boyfriend at the time helped me load the old girl up in his old pickup, and with a check written from my mother in my back pocket to pay for the vets dark services, I took our family dog a few miles down the road to the vets office. I paid the woman at the front desk, helped my blind ailing pal to the back room, sat with her as she was hooked up to an IV, and stroked her beautiful white and grey fur as her life faded away.  
 I just remembered something as I was writing this post.  All those years ago, when I opened the door to take Shadow to the back at the vet’s office, she still waited for me to go through the door.  I guess I took that for granted back then, as that was how she was taught.  However looking back at that now, I know she had to have known that I was taking her back to her death and even then she was still subservient. No - not subservient – respectful.  May we all have that kind of grace and humility in our final moments.
So why dogs, they are more humble than us, more selfless than us, in short because they are better than us, thats why.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Publishing LLC.

So today I want to start out by telling a short little story. 
Being the closet aspiring writer that I am I sought out, in the shadows of course, a published author that I happened to meet.  She was nice enough, and I asked her if I could buy her dinner and pick her brain about writing, and she agreed. 
I had been writing at this point for about six years.
At dinner I asked her, did you ever think about self-publishing?
No – she said – Self-publishing is not being an author, and I wanted to be a real author.
Suddenly tweed jackets and a snifter of brandy ran through my head.  So I asked – are you happy with the result of your book?
They changed it a little, but I guess thats what they do- she replied.
Red flags rose in my head.
Her book was doing quite well, so I asked – are you making a decent profit off your book?
Not really.
Huh- I thought.

I am not trying to justify my being an independent author, but there has to be a better way than sending it to an agent for approval, then to a publishing house for further approval.  Why not put your book out there and let it stand on its own merit?

My decision on where to publish and a small piece of advice…

So here it is Friday, and as promised I will share the company I will go with for my publishing.  So in the independent realm of publishing there is seemingly a few number of ways to self-publish, well that was how it seemed to me at first anyway.  There are places like AuthorHouse, IUniverse and so on.  A friend of mine published a book a year ago with this method and after a short conversation with him I thought that maybe this way would be the right way for me.  So, being the neurotic that I am, I sat down with him and talked with him again about the pros and cons of the route he went.  He told me that, if he were to publish again that next time he would use more of a book producer than a self-pub company, and he would also create his own label.  This actually appealed to me a lot.  So I went on the ole’ Internet and began to look up places that could fulfill my needs in this area.  This is when I found CreateSpace.  CreateSpace is a place where you can publish and keep not only the rights to your book but most of the royalties as well.  They do this because they are more of a book producer than a self-pub company.  Another thing, when going through more notable named self-publishers you received on average about 25% of the royalties of your book, and that’s when you go through their website.  You received less than that if you go through their website and sell a book on Amazon.  With CreateSpace you can use their handy royalty calculator to figure out how much you will make per book, and with me this was the deciding factor.  So I am going with CreateSpace and I am going to make my own publishing label, and my own LLC.  Stand by for my symbol and company name.  So all you out there research what your buying, and as I stated before, if it seems like a good deal, something may be wrong with the services or the royalties.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So I am Slowly letting people know what I am doing...

So I am not quite to the point where I can post my blog on Facebook to every one of my friends.  I wear an external coat of extraversion but I am surprisingly shy about my private life, especially my writing life.  This thing that grabs me and causes me to constantly dream up stories and ideas is something that I have kept very close to the chest for a very long time...

So where I am at today:
Currently I am figuring out what publisher I will be using to publish my book.  For those who don't know I am an Independent Writer.  I thought very deeply about the traditional route however after much soul searching, researching, and a tug from the big guy upstairs I am sure that I am on the right path.  Why?  Because the book industry is quickly becoming like the movie industry, what is marketable is considered art.  I am not going to get on here and say that I am better than any writer out there and that it's the indie way or the highway, but I am going say that there is talent out there that is not being properly recognized for the shear fact that publishing houses do not think that they can make money off of them.  I think passion and talent go hand and hand, and I think someone who believes in their own work enough to invest in it deserves a shot at an audience as well.  Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I am in the market for a publisher.  I have looked around at the different self-publishers and the way they do business.  Having done this it is my opinion that one must be very careful about what seems like a good deal.  The publishing cost may be low, but your royalties may be low as well.   They also may choose the price of your book.  Tomorrow I will make a choice in what company I will go with, and I will explain my reasons why.  My advice till then - be patient and research who you are going to use.  Also above all else don't make any hasty decisions. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here We Go!

Hi. My name is Israel Parker and I am beginning my journey into the world of independent authorship.  I wasn't sure how to start this off since I am fairly new at blogging so I thought I would start simple.
I was born in the seventies, grew up in the eighties and nineties, and am alive today.
There, now that we have gotten this out of the way I guess we can move on.  I will give more detail as I post and as I reflect back throughout this process.

Why do I write?

A fair question, and it deserves a fair answer.  I don't know.   A friend of mine about eight years ago suggested that I start because he thought I was clever and thought that I might even have something clever to say. So I began, and was surprised to how much came out of me.  However, since that day I have not been able to shut the faucet off.  Sometimes I go a few weeks without writing something down, but then, something will catch my eye here and there and I find myself back in front of the computer writing my crazy thoughts down and forming stories.

Where I am at now?

I just finished my first novel.  It is being edited currently and should be available in the next few months. Over these next few months I hope to maybe inform you out there, and even possibly entertain you a bit as I dive into the world in which I have spent the last eight years afraid of.