The Day has come. American Faust, a novel which took years to write, years to shape, and years to sell — sending out queries to hundreds of agents, publishers, and Presses — yes, that day has arrived. It is available now for sale.
For twenty years I balanced my passion for writing with my full-time career in Fortune 500 and private companies. It was no secret at work; colleagues used to say that writing was my true profession, and my job was my hobby. They were right. But as much as I longed to be a writer full time, I understood that remaining in my finance career was the prudent choice knowing my chances of making a living at writing were slim. What was important was that I made sure that both realms would share a place in my life.
As my daughters grew older, I found more time to write, and learned to write well. I studied the craft of writing from the best teachers — journalists, novelists, poets – and I voraciously read great classics of early modern literature, especially my favorites — Tony Morrison, Cormack McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Francis Kafka, F. Scott Fitzgerald; those I attempted in my own writing to emulate. I attended workshops and conferences and joined writing groups. One I started myself. All helped me to become a better writer. But my greatest teacher was the writing itself. I wrote and wrote and wrote until my characters leaped from the page and my plots unfolded in a logical order from beginning to middle to end.
It has been difficult at times to balance the two identities. One morning I wake up thinking about how to solve an issue at the office, then the next figuring out how to solve a plot hole or develop character motivation. Ironically, it was during the pandemic when I had to switch from a full-time finance job to part-time consulting that I had the opportunity to live the life of the writer full time. It is as much a full-time job as my other was – write a story so compelling that people would want to read it, then take that story to market. There’s the professional editing stage, the book production, the marketing and promotion, and building a social media presence – much of which has to be done simultaneously. Drafting a good story is only half a writer’s battle, the business end of being a writer is just as important and time-consuming.
Finally, American Faust is completed and bound for sale. And now I must pay attention to that other world of mine again — back to the halls of corporate America to worry about budgets and bottom lines instead of book titles and storylines. For I do have a second novel ready to publish, and already started a third, and written a shive of short stories and poems — I’d like to see all published one day but know I must bide my time until the pendulum swings back and I can lay down my calculator at the office and take out my typewriter to be that writer full time, again.
May 23rd is the official book launch date when American Faust is available to the public, either online at your favorite book site or in select independent bookstores. It’s also available directly on the Ibex Press website (https://ibex-press.com).
So please go out and buy a copy and enjoy what will make one of your greatest reads of the year. Share it with friends and book clubs and engage in lively debates over the themes of the book – the battle between good and evil, male privilege versus female fate, learning from the past to move forward into the future, learning to listen to our own inner voice. The characters of American Faust and their backstories will stick with you long after you’ve put the book down, I assure you. You may even wish to read it again. It’s that kind of book.
Thank you to all who have followed my progress over the years on what has been an arduous, ecstatic, heartbreaking but always fulfilling journey to see my American Faust in print. Thank you.
Rick “Rip” Brown
(You may wonder how I got the nickname “Rip.” It all started when I was a student at boarding school living in a castle…but that is another story.)