My first historical fiction novel due out 8/12/14: How Much Do You Love Me?

April 1, 2014 4:14 pm Published by 2 Comments

Three years ago, after finishing a trilogy of thrillers (Category 5, Prophecy, and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy), I switched genres; I chose historical fiction.

Historical fiction, as most of you know, is fiction set in the past, usually within a significant or interesting period of history. The story is fiction, but it draws upon historical accuracy to provide the backdrop. For How Much Do You Love Me? I chose World War II and, in particular, the internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

I chose this time period for two reasons. First, I had an idea for an interracial love story set within the tragedy of a World War. Beyond this objective, my goal was to remind us all, particularly younger generations in the United States, of a noteworthy episode from our country’s history. Most of the time our country has acted honorably, and we can be proud of our accomplishments, both in peacetime and war. However, there are instances when we have acted neither nobly nor fairly and for which we need reminding so as not to repeat our mistakes. The unjustified internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was one of those times.

As we get closer to the publication date, I will write blogs covering various aspects of the internment. My purpose now is to bring my readers up to date on my writing activities.

In an earlier blog (In publishing maybe the cliché is true: It is easier…), I detailed my lack of success in finding a literary agent to represent How Much?  To my surprise, when I later pitched the book directly to a publisher, I struck pay dirt with the first one I approached, Cedar Fort (Sweetwater Books imprint), headquartered in Springville, Utah. From their web site, here is Cedar Fort’s vision:

We want to publish uplifting and edifying books that help people think about what is important in life, books people enjoy reading to relax and feel better about themselves, and books to help improve lives. Whether or not a book is written specifically to the LDS market, all of our books should be suitable and uplifting for any group. Our authors believe, as do we, that books should inspire readers to be better people, and we strive to always publish books that are in harmony with that spirit.

Truth be told, when I initially studied this publisher’s focus, I felt right away that How Much? would be a good fit for Cedar Fort’s publishing philosophy.

How Much_Resized2_2Apr14

Once I signed the contract, things moved quickly. This all started last fall and, since then, my editor, Alissa Voss, and I have been striving to make the manuscript the best it can be. I recently returned a second set of requested revisions.

Interestingly, once we got started, working on the manuscript wasn’t the first item of business: it was the cover design. I asked why, and there was a good reason. To meet the scheduled release date of August 12th, a deadline for a national catalog in which my book would be listed had to be met. That listing, necessarily, included a picture of the cover.

You see above that design as created by Cedar Fort’s Kristen Reeves. Another surprise to me: How Much? is already available for preorder on both the Barnes and Noble and Amazon web sites.


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This post was written by paulmarktag01


  • Tara says:

    Congratulations Paul! We are very excited about your latest novel and can’t wait for our copy. It should be out in plenty of time for you to autograph it in person when we come to California for the holidays. Warm wishes from Istanbul, Tara