1. What inspired you to begin your publishing journey?

I was inspired by the life story of Dan Sickles. For many years I visited the Gettysburg battlefield and read numerous historical accounts that all point to Sickles as the man that nearly lost the battle and the Union. I’ve always been a contrarian, especially when everyone agrees on something, and found myself coming to the defense of Sickles actions. I decided to write his story, and in first-person fictional narrative to offer a view from inside his brilliant but self-serving mind.

2. What led you to choose the self-publishing route vs. traditional publishing?

Self-publishing offers a brave new world of opportunities for authors. I was able to publish a printed version of my book and review it through fresh eyes, those of mine and those of close associates who offered comments and suggestions, which I was able to incorporate into the final manuscript. Self-publishing takes full advantage of modern communication and printing technology.

3. How did you select Gatekeeper Press as your publishing family?

Several of my author friends recommended Gatekeeper Press, primarily for their support and communication skills.

4. Were there any moments during your publishing journey where your expectations differed from the actual process?

No. Previous Gatekeeper customer reviews said they felt “nickel and dimed”, but I get accused of that as a practicing architect by clients that are continually making changes to my drawings. Book publication is similar. Gatekeeper Press is very up-front about fees for changes to the work. It is the ability to perfect your manuscript that makes Gatekeeper an excellent vessel for publication.

5. What aspects of the process did you find most enjoyable?

Ha! The most enjoyable was writing my first draft. What I learned is when that is complete you are about halfway there.

6. What challenges did you encounter during your publishing journey?

I think the biggest challenge is to get honest critiques of the work. Friends are always amazed that I undertook the mission to write and publish a book, and they are always happy to provide accolades. But what anyone should want from their friends is an objective view of the work, and for that you often need to encourage their honest commentary.

7. Would you change anything if you could do it all over again?

I’m starting work on a new book, so I ask myself that question. Despite having numerous proof-readers and using ProWritingAid I would like to find a more efficient way to vet grammar and spelling errors.

8. What were the most surprising aspects of self-publishing with Gatekeeper Press?

I was pleasantly surprised by the knowledge and professionalism of the Gatekeeper staff.

9. Would you recommend fellow authors self-publish with Gatekeeper Press?

Yes, and I already have done so. I think my publication of An Audacious Myth has inspired some friends and family to get busy on that book they are writing in their mind.

10. With your dream book a reality, what goals do you aspire to achieve with your story?

That’s a great question to close with. First, I want to see success with my book. At the least, get readership from the core target of American Civil War readers. I get numerous comments from people that have read advance copies of the book that it is highly visual and would make a great film or series. Operators are standing by for the call from Netflix…

Having been through the process I am and looking forward to working on my next manuscript, one that takes a fictional view of a real-life 1960’s radical. I am simultaneously working on a book that will present my watercolor paintings of the California Missions with narrative about their restoration in the 20th century (https://williamsuttonwatercolors.com/california-missions ).

Please share your website/social media links.