New Review by Book Critic

Despite massive and rapid changes in the world of publishing with E-books etc, one thing still holds true. The center of the big time publishing universe sits squarely in New York City. That being said, I was excited a couple of weeks ago, when my Publicist and Friend Kathleen Campbell told me she had convinced the book Critic Michall Jeffers (of Manhattan) to review my novel Going Green. Considering that Manhattan is politically overwhelmingly liberal, I am very pleased with Ms. Jeffers kind words:

http://www.womanaroundtown.com/sections/reading-around/wearin%E2%80%99-of-the-green-in-books

New Review From Cornwall Alliance

I was very gratified today to receive an outstanding review from Dr. Calvin Beisner at the Cornwall Alliance. You can see the review along with an excellent and very informative news letter here:

http://www.cornwallalliance.org/newsletter/issue/newsletter-july-6-2011/

In addition to the news letter, the Cornwall Alliance has produced an excellent documentary series entitled Resist The Green Dragon. I highly recommend it for showings in churches or Bible Study groups.

Finally, consider reading the article of my new friend Paul Driessen that is featured on the newsletter. Paul writes for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and other national newspapers. His article “Clearing The Air” is a great summary of some of the economics behind current regulations from EPA.

New Radio Interview

For many of you who have heard my other interviews, there is probably not that much new that I can say that you have not heard me talk about before. However, tonight I will be doing a radio interview with the largest audience of any I have ever done.

everydayRADIO

LIVE 6-22,9pmET Authors Chris Skates & HT Narea @AuthorNarea

 

This show has 120,000 podcast subscribers and has featured many best selling authors including Michelle Malkin, and Jackie Gingrich (wife of Newt).

The show is a call in show (or so I was told) so you are welcome to call in and pretend you love Al Gore (ha!). The call in number is 347-324-3826. This is not a free call.

My First Review!

CBA Retailers magazine is a widely circulated periodical that goes to all Christian bookstores. This month my new novel Going Green was chosen for review.  See the review below. I am more than a little excited!

Ashley Miller has been an environmental engineer at a power plant for five years. She and her company are conscientious about clean air and water, but her ex-boyfriend, an passionate activist, wants to shut down the plant. A mysterious, handsome Arab terrorist, posing as a lobbyist, schemes to destroy Ashley, her plant, and more. Ambitious politicians use Government regulations to advance their personal agendas in this fast paced novel filled with all the action, drama, and intrigue of Baldacci, Clancy, and Grisham.

Chris Skates presents a strong Christian message without being preachy. Godly people show up throughout the story to emphasize the Hand of God in daily life. His plot is ripped from today’s headlines about environmental activism versus industrial interests and complicated by ambitious politicians and governmental regulation. The characters are believable and interesting. The adversarial relationships between true believer environmentalists who want to shut down all coal fired power plants and the energy industry that tries to responsibly comply with clean air and water regulations provide the backdrop for several plot twisting surprises. Murder, intrigue, romance, humor, political ambition, and a doomsday scenario involving the destruction of multiple targets combine to make this a page turner. Skates addresses real issues with great storytelling.
John Burnstein

You wrote a book….so what?

I am writing this tonight having just received my first shipment of the latest novel I have written. Three long hard years. And they were quite hard at times. Writing, getting published, and seeing the book for the first time, truly is a process. In some ways I think I have sweated over this story, fretted over the edits, and obsessed over whether or not we had gotten everything “just right” with the proofs, to the point of almost taking some of the fun out of it. But only some. I still wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

I have already started reading it again. I have read it at least twenty times. I have rewritten it three. (not that many for a commercially published novel, some authors have to rewrite as many as 20 times. That’s something I am proud of)

It doesn’t surprise me anymore. The first few times I read the later drafts, I would have moments where I would say, “Humm….that’s pretty good. I can’t believe I wrote that section.” or “Wow, I really like this passage.” I can honestly say that there are no spots that I just dont like. I had one or two passages like that in the book I wrote with Dan, The Rain: A Story of Noah and the Ark. That has nothing to do with Dan or The Rain and everything to do with where I am now as a writer as opposed to where I was then. I have done this once now. I got feedback from well over a hundred readers. I guess I retained some of it and improved a bit. My initial reviews from editors at publishing houses confirmed that.

Want to see my baby pics? – I could pratter on and on. I mean lets face it. This is my baby. I have ridden for miles, alone in my car, talking to the characters, asking them why they did this or that. And yes, by now, they are quite real to me. What was once just an idea I had during my morning coffee is now a finished novel and will be in bookstores. You cant help but get attached.

The work– I dont think anyone who has not published a novel can truly understand the sweat equity that I have poured into this. I dont say that in a self serving way, or at least I dont mean to, it just….IS.

This Aint no big deal–  What I really started to blog about tonight is….SO WHAT? I wrote a book. Have I accomplished anything? Ten or fifteen years ago I would have said, “definitely yes”. But now, with so many blogs, so many tweets, so many people able to get their writing out there, I must say it feels a bit less “special”. Yet when I look at the statistics, so few people actually make it to this point. I think the numbers are something like:

  • Ten per cent of the authors that set out to write a novel , actually ever complete the manuscript.
  • Of that ten per cent, less than one per cent of those ever get published, (excluding self published works)
  • Then of all books that ARE published, 80% sell less than 100 copies.

There are just such a HUGE number of books out there.

Still, getting published has not made me feel that I have succeeded.

Some would only consider it a success if Going Green becomes a big hit and I am suddenly a full time writer but that is highly unlikely. Writing is not that lucrative so I am not going to hold the definition of success to that high a standard.

If people read this story, (not just friends but even strangers…especially strangers) and say to themselves, “I was thoroughly drawn in by this story…and it really made me think as well”, if people tell me of laughing at parts I meant to be funny, of being scared during parts where I intended to induce fear, if they care about the characters and what happens to them, and most of all, if some give me the ultimate compliment, “I couldn’t put it down…” Then I will consider myself a success. THEN this will seem like a big deal.

I am about to get the verdict!!

What I Want This Blog To Be

You need to start a blog. At least that is what my publicist told me.  When one enters an entirely new realm as I have with publishing a book, then you have to trust professionals in that business.  Yet, I have been pretty reluctant to get started.  The reason being, is I feel like we have a new segment in our culture where everyone feels the need to constantly inform the world of every thought. Tweets, blogs, social networks, can any of us possibly have that much to say that others need to hear?

I have been reluctant to add my voice to the cacophony.  I believe it may have been the brilliant Alexadar Solzeneitsyn who I will paraphrase, “Everyone speaks in these times of their rights, their right to be heard, their right to comforts or possessions or security.  But what of the right that no one speaks of. What of the right to peace.  What of the right to quiet before our creator.  What of the right to not have our eternal souls constantly bombarded by information, input and noise?”

Very few people that I know need more input or noise in their lives. Therefore I hope this blog will only be active when I have something worthwhile to say. I endeavor not to blog just to be blogging.

When I do blog I hope that at times I can return to my most comfortable place, the place where I can use my sense of humor. At times I hope it will be deeply Spiritual. At other times it will be unavoidably political.  In all cases I hope it will add value to your day. For if all I can do is add to the noise that already surrounds you, then I would rather not blog at all.