ALMOST PERSUADED

Almost Persuaded is the title of a song in the country and western genre, written in 1966 by Glenn Sutton and Billy Sherrill and first recorded by David Houston. Subsequent recordings were made by Etta James, Tammy Wynette, Beth Rowley and George Jones and, no doubt, by others too. The lyrics are catchy, telling a story of a bar room meeting and a brief infatuation. There is then a realisation that infidelity is contrary to wedding vows, triggered by a reflection of the wedding ring in the eyes of the other party. Etta James’ 1967 recording is my favourite. Etta’s raunchy voice, with a great backing band and singers, is a stand-out performance compared to the other recordings sung in a more relaxed and mellow country and western manner.

Almost Persuaded is also the title of my first novel, now completed and going to print in the next few weeks. About three years in the making, it began as a short story, quickly transitioning into a full-blown fictional book. Ideas then began to sprout in my mind – still without a clear pathway to a finale – but sufficient to press on to that minimum 70,000 – odd word threshold between a novel and a novelette. My first blog, GENESIS – In the beginning was published here nearly two years ago, at which stage, I was 48,000 words down the track with the novel.

An artistic person generally derives great pleasure from his, or her, finished article and possibly a sense of prowess, whilst underway with the artistic creation. It may seem strange but writing, for me, falls into the same category. I have enjoyed crafting chapter after chapter, pausing for some research, pausing again for contemplation on the credibility of the plot. From then on, it is the continuation of the seemingly endless task of ensuring words flow well, dialogue is interesting and the story is strong enough to keep the reader engaged to the end. I believe Almost Persuaded has the right mix of fiction, fact, love, violence and contemporary social issues to stimulate and entertain.

What is the novel all about?

Without giving too much away, a brief teaser to be used on the back cover of the finished book reads: Colin Foster walks out of his secure but boring job as an insurance broker following the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. His beautiful wife Mag, is devastated and hastens him into making a decision that turns out to be an unwise choice of temporary work. He deceives her into believing it is legitimate employment but far from it; Colin is drawn into a world of violence and intrigue.

Needless to say, Colin’s experiences of violence and intrigue is a fascinating insight into the world of drug-dealing, police efforts to track down dealers and the devastating effects of drug abuse on individuals and families. Woven into the story are some interesting and unusual characters. Through these characters, I found it possible to expound my own outlook on many facets of life today and some of my fears and opinions.

One of the most difficult decisions a new author must make is whether to publish conventionally (provided one can find a willing publisher), or self-publish. I have chosen the latter. As a result, I will have the satisfaction of being in control of marketing and distribution. This move is really all about my DIY obsession which has its roots in my childhood days of the late 1940’s and 1950’s when scarcity – of everything- was the norm. We just used what we could find to do the job and did it all ourselves.

The long, lonely hours an author devotes to his craft, he hopes will be rewarded with accolades, or monetary gain; a pat on the back or merely an affirmative and encouraging comment might be all he gets, and maybe, all he needs to spur him on to continue writing, otherwise he may be Almost Persuaded to give it up altogether.

If you are interested in purchasing the book when released, please email me at: nigelcferguson@gmail.com

I am not sure of the price per book at this stage – it will be below my actual cost, known once printing is complete as I do not seek to profit from this venture – so that pat on the back might well be adequate inducement to continue.

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