A few weeks back I wrote about my friend Jon Zech, whose cancer has him stuck in bed with little hope of recovery. I wanted to update readers on a couple of developments.
First, Jon is much more comfortable these days. The docs have finally got the meds right so he can function without the incredible pain of the disease pressing against his spine.
I had also mentioned that Jon wrote for thirty years without seriously pursuing publication, even though much of what he wrote could have been published. Our local writers groups are taking care of that too. We came together and realized that among us, we had the skills to produce our own books (some of us have started a small business to provide that service). In addition to being writers and editors, several among us are graphic designers, cover artists and proofreaders.
So a project was born. Fortunately Jon had most of his writing in digital form. We asked for a copy. Members of the group perused each file to determine which were complete stories and which weren’t. Then we created a logical order. We edited. We created a layout. We designed a cover. We proofread.
A month later we have Sparks, a collection of Jon Zech’s work, a 366-page compendium of stories, poetry, and an unfinished novel. It went up for sale on Amazon this week and the response has been tremendous. We even produced a hardcover version just for Jon that includes his novel, Buck & Tangee. That one weighs in at 536 pages, and is a testament to a writer’s life.
The idea of writers as aloof, self-centered artists isn’t always accurate. We usually work alone, but when we have a good cause we can come together as well as any other group. The proof is in this book. I hope you’ll take a look.