Guest Post by John Bell, Author of The Circumstantial Enemy: An astounding, based-on-true-events WW2 thriller
The circumstance for nodding to my daughter’s request for a biography was compelling. Following months of research and interviews with Grandad, I self-published enough copies for the family and a few generations to come. I thought I was done with writing. But then another circumstance hit me in the solar plexus. My career as a corporate CEO of a Fortune 500 organization came to a sudden end with the sale of the company.
How would I use all of that down-time? I began blogging about leadership, strategy, and branding on my website CEOafterlife.com – pumping out weekly blogs. Three years and 150 blogs later, I thought back to Grandad’s story. Could I fictionalize it into a thrilling novel? Maybe. After penning a few chapters of what would become The Circumstantial Enemy,
Though Eric loved the story, he thought I needed better structure and focus. He also said he was shifting his own focus to the lucrative business book market. I said that I could write a business book for him. Nine months later, Do Less Better: ThePower of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World was released by Palgrave Macmillan USA.
Do Less Better was an easy transition from blogging. Writing fiction was not. Composing historical fiction was to become the biggest challenge of my professional life. I had the first draft of The Circumstantial Enemy complete in 2 years. I needed another 3 years for rewriting and editing as well as checking the historical facts and all those little details of the 1940s that had to be error-free. And then there was another 3 years of fine-tuning while I tried to persuade bona-fide publishers to take on the project. In the end, my persistence paid off.
Twenty-four years have passed since I left the corner office. It seems like half that long. Much has changed, including me. Somehow, I reinvented myself. Transformation is never easy. Reinvention never happens without passion, determination and hard work. At 71, I am a rookie historical novelist. More importantly, I’m just another an everyday guy getting out of life what he’s putting into it.