by Alvin Ramirez March 28, 2013
In an interesting change of pace, Angela Lauria’s guest for this week on Book Journeys Radio wasn’t a motivational speaker or life coach, nor did he have an inspirational book to share with the listeners. Instead, Geoffrey Hepburn’s debut effort Fate, Choice and Chance: An Immigrant’s Quest is a biography of sorts for the first-time author, as it weaves together its narrative from both fictional events and actual ones from Hepburn’s own experience.
Hepburn revealed that the idea of writing Fate, Choice and Chance came about as a personal memoir for his daughter; she thought that she didn’t know much about Hepburn’s life, which in turn inspired him to write the novel. He said that the book traced his life in broad strokes, starting from his formative years in Western Canada to the time he settled in the United States and acquired citizenship. However, he set the story forward to the time where the main character of his book is retiring, and is looking back on his life. Hepburn also explained the subtitle of Fate, Choice and Chance, which is An Immigrant’s Quest, as the main character’s quest for forgiveness and reconciliation with his past. As he looks back on the events of his younger years, he lets go of old grudges, and forgives people that he has had arguments and disagreements with. This way, the book has an appeal to more readers than he originally intended.
Like most of the first-time authors featured on Book Journeys Radio, Geoffrey Hepburn went the self-publishing route when it was time to publish Fate, Choice and Chance; specifically, he worked with Bloomington, IN-based AuthorHouse Self Publishing. He thought that this was a sound business decision, since going the traditional publishing route meant several months, if not years, looking for an agent, getting edited, and finding an appropriate distribution channel for his work. He shared that he plans to build a brand around his name, by writing a few more books.
Asked by Angela about his goals for writing the book, Hepburn said that since Fate, Choice and Chance was his first book, revenue generation is desirable, but not that big of a motivation. However, he added that his next books would be much more revenue-oriented than his first one, and he will make better use of the add-ons included in the package he availed from AuthorHouse, especially the marketing aids.
Hepburn shared that he appreciated working with AuthorHouse very much, and was willing to work with them again, as he found the organization very professional and staffed with knowledgeable, polite people. He also encouraged other first-time authors like himself to try out what AuthorHouse has to offer instead of wasting time and money on finding an agent willing to take them on and refer them to a publishing house.
Finally, Hepburn shared one more benefit to writing a book: coming from the business world, where there was little room for creative self-expression, he found the act of expressing the creative impulse through writing gives him a lot of personal satisfaction, and keeps him interested and alive. However, he also adds that anyone thinking about getting into writing should be ready to devote a lot of time and passion to what they’re about to do.