AFTER 24 TURBULENT YEARS!
There is nothing like an overnight success. Every glory has its story!
The 24 years journey leading to the release of my first ever written novel, “The Professionals’ Game” has been a challenging one. Even though the novel was completed in 1987 during my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) years, it was not until 1995 when my wife and I paid a British company, “Excalibur Press”, that the publication journey began. The excitement we got was however shortlived for after collecting the full subsidy demanded, the company owner, John West- who turned out to be a scammer, on the excuse of ill-health claimed to have turned the publication over to another company (Alpine Book Publishers .) That was the beginning of the “Game of Scamming” that delayed the publication of what is to be my first novel for the next twenty – two years.
MAJOR MILESTONES IN THE VALLEY OF PAIN
- July 1987. I completed the manuscript for “The Professionals’ Game”
- September 1995. I contacted and contracted Excalibur Press of London to publish my manuscript.
- 26.10-1995. Excalibur wrote of accepting to publish my manuscript for £7200 - to be paid in four times instalment.
- 01.12.1995. Excalibur sent me the legal agreement to publish my manuscript. After verifying that Excalibur has no government sanction, I entered a legal agreement with the company and made instalment-payment of the money demanded.
- 29.08.1996. Scammer John West, after receiving all the necessary instalment payment, wrote that due to his ill- health, he is unilaterally transferring my book to “Alpine Book Publishers Limited (using the same address.)”
- 09.09.1996. Alpine Book Publishers- obviously part of the scamming network, wrote to confirm taking over from Excalibur, wanting less communication to focus on publication.
- 24.02. 1997. Alpine Book Publishers contacted me for the last time promising to publish book very soon.
- 03.03.1997. John Lewis & Co (Chartered Accountants Firm) sent back all letters I wrote to Alpine Book Publishers, claiming the company was no more located in their vicinity.
- 04.06.1997. The British Embassy that facilitated my journey to Britain to sign my book contract with the fraudsters wrote to me to let me know they can not help to track down the scammers.
- 30.07.1997. I received "Face the Facts" transcript (produced by BBC Radio 4) to confirm that John West of Excalibur Press and his front Alpine Book Publishers are all scam networks, dedicated to ripping off both British citizens and foreigners alike.
- 27.08. 1997. The Nigerian High Commission confirmed that I have simply been defrauded.
- 16.09.2019. 22 years after the scam saga, I published the book through Amazon.com
My passion for writing was restored in 2004 when I wrote the first two, non-fiction and faith-based books. It was not however until 2015 that my passion for writing fiction returned as I wrote the “Flashback Trilogy”.
In February 2019, 24 years after being scammed, I dusted "The professionals game" manuscript and prepared it once again for publication.
Though the delay is not denial, twenty-four years was a lot of time to wait.
Guess what, the situation had changed!
The entire setting in the novel was almost obsolete.
In 1987, there were no extensive internet or social media like we have today.
You hardly have a telephone in every home not to talk of personal smartphones that are available everywhere now. Only James Bond had access to such a state of the art communication gadgets. In those days, such things are considered futuristic. You can hardly imagine life now without smartphones or internet media.
Money Exchange rate made some of the old calculations in the first manuscript a joke. Rewriting some sections of the book became very important.
It was truly a herculean task to resurrect the book from its dusty closet.
Yet every author will tell you of a love relationship between the creation and the creator. I find it necessary to fight to protect my creation - my book- and no matter how daunting the challenge was, I pressed through.
The entire situation was a learning experience for me. I hope you profit a bit from my painful experience by sharing some of the lessons I learnt.
- Your dreams and passion may lead you to place of trials, attack and challenge. As a new author, beware of “Subsidy-Publishers”. Many of them are just scammers. Excalibur Press Of London, scammed my family of our hard-earned savings using my honest intention to publish my book as a bait. Imagine, I got the contact from the advertisement the fraudster placed in TIME Magazine- a great publication!
- Permit no demon, person or situation to cut you off from fulfilling your dream. Tests, trials and tribulations are only opportunities to prove your commitment to your dream. It is a challenge to prove your determination for success. There is no testimony without a test.
To secure your crown, you need to embrace your cross.
- There is time for everything. Sometimes we fall and sometimes we rise. Patiently and persistently pursue your dreams to the end. Be persistent in pursuits if you believe in bringing your vision to pass.
- Never give up on your dream. Finally, in the end, all things work together for good for those who will never give up. Looking at the finished novel now, it looking richer, better and quite relevant to the present day.
Now, it is with great pride and joy that I present to you, “The Professionals’ Game”.
It is my pleasure to share my old dream, passion and work of imagination with you. Get your copy and have a bite of my first adventure into the world of fiction.
A cracking thriller… Unputdownable, with an ending that left me quite breathless! Howard Lee