As you may know, I have written two novels. I started The Billionaire’s Lawyer in 2014 and finally finished it after writing ten versions in 2018.
I wrote about my efforts in a blog titled: My Novel: The Billionaire’s Lawyer.
My 2018 blog post answers the question of why I chose Gabriela Sanchez as my protagonist. Our son-in-law grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. Our daughter taught school in the Rio Grande Valley. One of my most favorite lawyers I mentored grew up in the Rio Grande. I have learned through my coaching and research that Latina lawyers still face challenges. See: FEW AND FAR BETWEEN: THE REALITY OFLATINA LAWYERS. (One Latina lawyer I coached told me a partner had once mistaken her for a member of the cleaning crew.)
A great deal has happened since that post. I had used a self-publishing company which had pressured me to send them the manuscript even before I had finished editing, proofreading and looking for errors. I did, interpreting an email to mean they would edit, proofread and look for errors before publishing. They didn’t.
If you go back to the blog I published in 2018, you will find a different cover. It is from the old version that has errors I found embarrassing.
After I published The Billionaire’s Lawyer, I started receiving cold calls. The caller usually started by telling me someone in his/her company had read my novel and wanted to present it to screenwriters in Hollywood to make a movie. I was excited by the first call, by the third or fourth I had figured out the scam and asked that the person who thought my novel was worthy of a movie should call me and share with me why he or she thought it was movie worthy.
I also received cold calls from marketing companies. Those callers also claimed someone had read The Billionaire’s Lawyer. Their pitch was that they could get my book in book stores, libraries and more on-line sales…. for a price. I finally told the callers I had written the book for my own satisfaction and for my friends and I didn’t care about sales. (Good thing because my royalties so far have been just enough to re-load my Starbucks card.)
I published my second novel, Countdown to Justice in 2019. Gabriela Sanchez, fresh of her defense of the Texas Billionaire is asked to represent a lawyer her age who refuses to testify before the grand jury investigating whether her client bribed my fictitious Texas governor.
This time, I paid an editor to edit, proofread and correct errors before it was published. Like my first novel, sales have not been great and you won’t find it in your local book store.
I am currently working on my third novel, about a lawyer representing a seventeen year old girl in Dallas who is stuck in the Dallas County Jail because her trial, which was supposed to take place in March has been postponed indefinitely because of COVID. I chose a seventeen year old because to my surprise, Texas is one of the few states that treats seventeen year olds as adults and they have their own floor at the Dallas County jail.
Writing a novel is far more challenging than the many briefs, articles, guides and even business parable books I wrote while practicing law and coaching. I struggle with concepts like “show don’t tell, deep POV and using strong verbs. It doesn’t come natural to me.
So, why do I write? I love to learn. I love to try and get better. I love creating a story. I even love doing the research. Here’s one interesting thing I have discovered. No matter how wild or crazy and idea I have for the story, when I do research I inevitably discover that something at least as wild or crazy, and in most cases even more wild and crazy happened in real life. So much for my efforts to be original.