Mike has had the pleasure—and the honor—of attending numerous book signings and other author events for his published writers. Below is a sampling of his many success stories.
Mike began working with Michele Scott in 2004 when she joined a read/critique workshop that he facilitated. Soon after, he became her editor, writing coach, shoulder-to-cry-on, all-purpose maven, and friend. At the time, Michele had already accomplished a big step, finding a literary agent for her novel, Murder Uncorked.
“Though Murder Uncorked would become the first book to be picked up by a publisher,” Michele says, “it was the seventh that I’d written. I started my first novel when I was in college. From then until Murder Uncorked I collected hundreds of rejection slips from literary agents and publishers alike.”
Michele has gone on to publish six books in the Wine Lover’s Mystery Series, and three in the Horse Lover’s Mystery Series, all with Berkley Prime Crime. She now has nearly a dozen-and-a-half published novels to her credit.
Dr. John L. “Jack” Turner is a brain surgeon in Hawaii. His book, Medicine, Miracles, and Manifestations: A Doctor’s Journey Through the Worlds of Divine Intervention, Near-Death Experiences, and Universal Energy (Career Press/New Page Books), was published early in 2009. It received some great acclaim, and it quickly climbed high up Amazon’s list of trade paperbacks.
Jack came to Mike upon a referral from a literary agent and a publisher. He even flew into California for his evaluation. As expected, the project needed a lot of revisions. “We worked hard over the next couple of months,” Jack recalls. “I followed Mike’s lead. Together, we put the spit shine to my manuscript.”
The best part came soon thereafter. His publisher received the proposal and sample chapters and responded with a lovely thank you letter—and a contract.
Mike first met Whitney Lyles just prior to the turn of the millennium when she took a class from him at the University of California, San Diego Extension. Young and unpublished, Whitney aspired to writing chick-lit novels, a popular but highly competitive genre, especially back then. Within a couple of years she landed representation with high-profile literary agent Sandra Dijkstra, and she was on her way. Always the Bridesmaid was published to critical and commercial success, and six other books followed. Love Off-Limits, her latest, was published by Simon & Schuster.
According to Whitney: “There is a lot to consider when trying to get published, but I always offer two key points that contributed to my success. The first is to read everything you possibly can. Study what other successful authors do. The second is to seek the guidance of a professional editor, or as I like to say, a writing coach.”
There is always a first success story, and for Mike, that person is Diane Lee Wilson. An unpublished writer at the time, Diane was one of a gazillion students in a class that Mike facilitated at a community college in the early ’90s. Impressed with her work, Mike recommended it to a literary agent that he knew. Diane’s horse-themed YA novel, I Rode a Horse of Milk-White Jade, was snapped up by a publisher, and for the first time Mike heard one of his writers announce: “I’m published!”
Diane has gone on to publish many novels, all of which have been critically acclaimed. Her novel, Black Storm Comin’, won a prestigious Spur Award for Juvenile Fiction in 2006 from the Western Writers of America. Diane’s latest novel, Tracks, was published in 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
The success story of Dr. Paul Bernstein is especially gratifying to Mike. Paul is a passionate writer, long-time student, client, and good friend. Over the years, Paul—a head and neck surgeon with Kaiser Permanente—has written some solid medical thrillers, stories good enough to land top representation. But, no book deals were forthcoming.
Still, he persevered, and a few years ago he switched gears to write a novel, Courage to Heal. The story, heavily steeped in fact, is about Dr. Sidney Garfield, the industrialist Henry Kaiser, and the birth of not only Kaiser Permanente but also of the HMO system as we know it. At first published as a POD, the book found a home with Jennifer Redmond of Sunbelt Publications after she read Paul’s acknowledgement to Mike for helping him with the project and asked Mike to put them in touch. Courage to Heal has gone on to win a number of prestigious awards. His most recent is a medical thriller titled, Flashblind.