Writing Larceny in the Aisles

So, writing this book has been a learning experience to say the least.  I started this project January of 2020 while vacationing in Kiawah Island, SC with Amy and Kelsey.  Documenting my shoplifters’ stories over my career turned out to be the easy part.  Writing them down was my first obstacle.  Enter Janice Beetle, my editor.

My first draft, would have been a grade of ‘D’ by any high school English teacher, was sent back to me with a lot of red lines through it.  Janice encouraged me to explain my feelings better, explain the situation clearer, etc., and two more edits later we had a manuscript.  I need to get the bosses blessing.

I paid a visit to the owner of the company who I worked for my entire career.  We talked family, the company, and then got into the book.  I handed him the manuscript and explained it was anonymous, PC, and no ties to the company except for the shoplifting events and my name.  Conversation led him to bringing in the company attorney to read the manuscript and then the boss let me use my name as the author.  On to design phase.

Janice, Destinee Almeida (my illustrator), and I met at rented hotel conference room in Nashua to brainstorm this process.  There we went through the setup of the book, organization, and work on a title that had been changed several times along the way.  Larceny in the Aisles was born.  We were ready for print, or so I thought.

Janice had edited and published many books with the same publisher / printer in the North Hampton area of Massachusetts.  The first ‘proof’ was sent to her and then while working on my proof they noticed the thin blue line flag that I had put on the back of the book.  The one inch by two-inch flag I put there was a symbol of support for the many police officers I met during my forty-five-year career.  The thin blue line designates the thin line of police officers that keep the ‘Calm’ from becoming ‘Chaos’.  The printer from North Hampton refused to print my book with the symbol on it.

They labeled me a white supremacist and attributed the thin blue line symbol to a Nazi swastika.  Neither of which was the case.  Janice went to bat for me, but the three owners of the publishing company voted unanimously not to print the book!  A thin line on a flag is a sign of support, period.  Red is for firefighters, pink is for cancer survivors, green military, black for black lives matter, etc.  By the way, police officers arrest white supremacists.  The symbol was not coming off my book.  Time to find a new printer.

The second printer I picked.  I used a printer an author friend of mine used.  My mistake.  I was in the middle, and it just didn’t work out.  The wrong files were used, and the cover didn’t come out as I expected.  There is a typo on the back, but the body of the book is right.  I decided I couldn’t sell these printed copies and decided to give them away.  I asked Janice to take the lead to find a third printer so she could send the files and get it right.  That’s were we are now.

                  Hope you enjoy the book, Mark


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *