February Meeting with Wayne Turmel

By Shannon Russell

Unlike many writers, Wayne Turmel presents himself as all extrovert, smiling and showing off how comfortable he is before an audience. His unusual background and path to being a published fiction author are the best explanations of his grace.

He explained that he was excited about his first novel The Count of the Sahara, a historical fiction about Byron de Prorok, a disreputable but dashing archeologist, because he thought of it as his first “real book.” He’d already published, by various ways, several non-fiction books. He didn’t consider himself a real writer until he published a novel.

His first book, A Philistine’s Journey: An Average Guy Takes on the Classics, was published by print on demand in its earlier days though Amazon. With almost no upfront costs and no need to store unsold copies, the decision made sense at the time. This isn’t the kind of book that will pay your mortgage, but it still sells a few copies here and there.

Turmel’s main occupation and income are from his expertise at directing and presenting meetings and seminars over the Internet. At some point, he put together a collection of his best workbooks and guides to be sold through is website and at seminars he taught. This time, self-publishing made sense. Selling copies of his book went together with marketing his expertise in a small professional field. His book is one of very few about the topic, which lends him subject authority.

Eventually, he wanted to write a book of fiction. Serendipity and the skills he already had from creating his non-fiction works helped in his research and preparation for writing. He was able to go from a blank page to a copy of the published book in hand in less than twelve months. This is not something most authors can boast. He had the skill, some luck, and a supportive publisher. Now he’s a real writer.

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