The Story of a Book

A Sin a Week:
     52 sins described in loving detail for folks with the inclination and ability to sin,
but who have run out of bad ideas.
     ILLUSTRATED!

To order: email sshoem3636@gmail.com
$ 19.30 incl tax

I began writing poetry in Urbana High School. I continued the questionable practice in college. Ten years later my first poem was published in a reputable journal.
Twenty years after grad school, I believed a collection of my poems could be made around the theme of sin. I hired an undergraduate cartoonist, T. Brian Kelly, who had a weekly strip in the Daily Illini student newspaper to illustrate them. At $20 a poem I could afford it, and he needed the money.

“A Sin a Week” became the title and I sent the manuscript to finally a total of five unimpressed NY publishers. They said few books of poetry sold well. Then I put it in a drawer for 25 years.

A month ago Doris Wenzell of Mayhaven Publishing asked me if I had a collection of my poems she could see. She had heard I had readers of my poems on FaceBook, especially since I had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Two days later I handed her my manuscript with my newly added subtitle. (See above.)

She loved it, we signed a contract, she rushed through the editing and printing because of my predicted shortness of time, and the book has now been selling for a week. Reviews from early readers have been good.

Notice the book says it describes sins, not that it is poetry. The first sin described is “Lying.” Ancient writers referred to the Devil as “the Father of lies.” This theme continues throughout the book, notably in my never revealing the book is poetry.
This is my confession–if you choose to order a copy, you’ve been warned.

  • Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, June 14, 2016

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