I’ve been encouraged lately about the publication of my latest book, “An Uphill Climb – Survivor’s Guilt and the Inca Trail”. Although sales continue at a trickle, they do continue – and are starting to pick up a bit. More importantly, the reviews posted on Amazon have been excellent, with 12 out of 13 rating it “5 star” and one “4 star”. Even better, only one reviewer was not a complete stranger, and that one was someone I have not seen in over 40 years.

Important to me, some of those reviewers said that they had experienced similar loss in their lives, and they were grateful that I had addressed some of their feelings.

In the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by two national book review services requesting Reviewer’s Copies, and received an amazingly upbeat and complimentary rejection notice from a major publisher.

Seriously, here is a direct quote:

My colleagues and I have now very carefully looked at your full manuscript. I received independent reports on the style, quality of writing and the suitability to genre and I am pleased to say that we find An Uphill Climb: Survivor’s Guilt and the Inca Trail to be of considerable merit and believe it would appeal to the reading public.

Although we agree the work is well written and has literary merit, commercial decisions have to be made in this fiercely competitive market. Bearing this in mind, we cannot offer a traditional contract for the work at this time. We would be able to offer a contribution-based contract, but this may be seen as inappropriate and undeserving of a manuscript of such a sensitive and uplifting nature.

Now tell me true, isn’t that the sweetest “Drop Dead” letter you’ve ever seen?

The book was also noticed by the folks at Yall.com , who publish a web site dedicated (as you may have guessed by the name) to celebrating all things Southern. Since we are currently living in east Tennessee, they contacted me to do a video interview as their Southern Author of the Week.

It was a fun experience, and I thank them for the opportunity. I hope the word spreads, and I can touch more people’s lives. As I mentioned in the interview, as we are about to pass 213,000 COVID deaths nationwide, there are probably a lot of people out there who are feeling a bit of Survivor’s Guilt themselves. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been for me if I had watched my wife die in quarantine isolation, unable to provide any comfort.

Here then, is the full 15-minute interview: