I’ve finished the first draft of The Local Rag.

It’s now resting for about three months or until I’ve got it out of my system. Then I’ll do another rewrite and send it to my beta readers. They’ll come back to me in about six weeks with lots of errors and some incites.

This is my seventh novel. Why, you might ask, did I write this book when the previous six have cost me more in postage and delivery than I’ve made in royalties?

So more for myself than for you, let me review the reasons I write:

• I write because it’s fun. If you need me to explain fun, well, I’m sorry for you.

• I write because I learn stuff. All my novels are about something I want to learn more about. As the story unfolds I’m doing research and learning right along with my characters.

• I write because I hope to share my views about issues that are important to me – I’m still hoping to.

The Local Rag is about journalism, the media, publishing, and the truth.

My career in journalism, mostly as publisher and editor of my own community newspapers, has spanned nearly forty years. I’ve seen lots of changes but none so disconcerting as what I see today. I set out to learn more about the concentration of media ownership, the decline of print and the rise of online news outlets, and the role of citizen journalism (also known as public, participatory, democratic, guerrilla or street journalism) and how it affects the legitimacy of our news.

I learned a lot.

I’m sharing what I learned in the context of a novel that also includes friendship, small business, politics, murder, crime and corruption.

Have I missed anything?

Why don’t you tell me? There are never enough beta readers.

Three months from now I’ll be sending out the manuscript to beta readers. At that time the manuscript will be quite polished, but by my eyes only. I’m looking for my beta readers to find plot glitches, inconsistencies, typos, spelling mistakes – anything and everything that will make The Local Rag a better read and error free.

All beta readers are acknowledged in the front matter of the book and get a paperback edition free.

Interested? E-mail me at rod_raglin@yahoo.com

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.


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