The Iterations of Starshot
Starshot was begun back in 1974. I had been laid off from my job, the economy was bad. If you are old enough to remember interest rates for home purchasing was in the 15-18% range. As a construction electrician, my future seemed bleak. So, even with some side jobs to do and the care of one child and another on the way, I still had spare time.
I had been a music fan since I can remember. My parents were too, that’s what got me started. I have little or no musical talent, but I loved to get into the minutia of it, gleaning details about different performer and bands. I memorized liner notes and read articles about music all the time. I was as politically active as I was musically active.
I had this story in my head; I wanted to include Chicago’s contribution to music and, of course, project myself into a character. In my first effort, I did a character build, concentrating on the three main male leads. So, David Joseph Glossack was born along with Jim Clark and John DeVoe. I typed out the early day's segment and from that already decided how to end the story. The final chapter was completed around this time (nowhere as detailed as it appears in the book) and once done gave it to my wife to read. I was a long time before she spoke…. She told me – “You have to write the whole story. You have to finish this.” Starshot was born.
I finished a rough draft by 1979, due to a return to work, moving back into the parental home that I bought from my parents as they retired to Wisconsin. That house makes an appearance in the book as well. With new jobs, my stint as a gaming magazine Publisher and a family now of five of us, I got busy. I’d toy with “the project,” as it was known. The rough, typed draft was over 450 pages. However, once I got a computer that had a workable Word Processor, I was now converting it to a document file. That was a whole, complete re-write. I began to realize the story couldn’t plod along from 1960 something to its conclusion in chronological order. Also, much of the early stuff help me build characters but did little to move the story along so a hundred pages disappeared and seventy or so moved in.
The style became a project, and somewhere I liked the documentary narration style, so I tried to hit that tone. Expository sections moved along with story detail and dialogue.
I began to pursue publication around 1995 seriously. The long journey of finding an agent was finally completed. My first agent was a fan from the first read and shopped it for over a year. He suggested that Starshot was too long. The most given reason was that it was too big for a first timer. The agent’s suggestion was to write a shorter book to publish the bigger book. I shopped for a new agent
I was answered by an agency that was very enthusiastic about the samples I sent and wanted to correspond further. I answered the letter and waited. Three months later I got a letter explaining they were sorry but the agency was closing because of the sudden death of the agent that was to take my MS. Best excuse to turn me down … ever.
So, I decided to take the advice of my first agent and set out to write what became WolfPointe. That is a whole ‘nuther story.