AFM Publisher On His Recently Released Book

By AFM Team – December 1, 2022

On Oct. 31, 2022, Austin Fit Magazine publisher and owner Lou Earle published his first novel, “Apogee.” Earle has dabbled in writing over the years — from love poems to a children’s book for his grandchildren to a nonfictional philosophical work to even the monthly publisher’s letters in AFM. However, it wasn’t until August 2020 that he started writing “Apogee.”

AFM got the chance to interview Earle on his recent success and how he came to realize his lifelong dream.

AFM: What was the genesis of this motivation?

Lou Earle: It began a long time ago. I was about 7 or 8 years old. Like many kids of that age, my brother and I slept in the same room and usually woke up early. Our parents told us we had to stay in our room until they got up, so we would lay in bed and chat. I had this habit of making up stories and telling them to my brother. He loved it, and every morning he would say, “Hey Lou, tell me a story.”

Eighteen years ago on Nov. 27, I read my horoscope for Gemini. It said:

“Do you have certain talents for writing, dear Gemini? You seem to have a very precise and clear way of expressing yourself. And it’s possible you use this gift of yours in your career. Today you might want to use it for another purpose: for expressing your feelings about someone. Whether you write to a family member or compose a wonderful love letter, you will be particularly inspired. Get writing!”

A month later, I outlined some ideas for a novel. In 2005, I wrote the first five pages of that novel and never wrote another word until 17 years later in August 2020 when I started writing “Apogee.” I’ve been working to get it published for the last two years. 

Lou’s wife Lynne with their dogs.

AFM: What was it like writing this novel?

LE: Because I’ve read so many of these works, I had a sense of how my writing style would work; they provided so many wonderful examples of approaches and techniques. But in the end, you must adopt your own style. For example, how much detail do you want to provide in each scene? Some authors spend pages describing a situation while others may only invest a paragraph or two. For me, it was a journey of discovery.

In the end, I found that the story told itself. Some describe this as a gardening approach where you put down the seeds and wait to see what grows. I started writing by imagining a scene and then describing it. When it was working, the images just popped into my mind, and I wrote about what I saw. That’s one reason my original “Apogee” novel got to be so long. The images just kept coming and, eventually, I had to end it. So, you might say that the story wrote itself.

When I looked into publishing my novel, I was told by literary agents and publishers that it was too long. It was a real downer at first. I didn’t feel I could edit enough out of the book without ruining the story, and I worried about how to create a good linkage between the first and second books. Fortunately, I was able to split the book in two by creating a cliffhanger ending in the first book and a new beginning in the second. That’s also how I was able to plan to publish the second book, “The Typhon Affair” in less than six months after publishing the first.

AFM: What has been the greatest challenge for you in this journey?

LE: There are two huge hurdles for new writers. The first is finding a publisher who will take a chance on your work. It’s like being discovered in Hollywood. I was fortunate to find a publisher, John Casey of PHiR Publishing, who gave me that chance. I’m eternally grateful for his support.

The second challenge is marketing your book. There are so many elements that go into getting exposure but, as my publisher has said, there are three critical elements that make a book successful:

  1. First, tell a great story
  2. Second, execute great marketing
  3. Third, luck!

I sincerely hope my books tell a great story and by reading this, you’re helping get the word out. For the third, I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed. 

Apogee cover.

“Apogee” is the first book in the Mac Sisco Trilogy. The second book is “The Typhon Affair,” which will be published in March 2023, and the third book, “The Maslow Conspiracy” will publish in the fall of 2023.

Below is a blurb from PHiR Publishing Co. of “Apogee”:

“An insidious conspiracy threatens the governance of nations worldwide. The evidence is subtle at first. As the layers are peeled back, however, a picture of politico-economic and social manipulation on an unimaginable scale begins to take shape. Ex-Navy Seal and NSA intelligence agent Mac Sisco is given limited resources and a seemingly impossible task: to strike a crippling blow before it’s too late. Can Team Apogee stem a tide of evil set in motion by a shadowy cabal that has been planning and executing its strategy for over half a century?”

“Apogee” is available from many book retailers in stores and online including Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Google Play in Kindle, e-book and paperback.


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