Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day One Hundred Four. Influence: Victor Rook

Victor Rook is the influence who helped me make a huge break into a whole new world after 60 years of writing books, magazine articles and newspaper columns the old way.

I wanted to leap from traditional to self-publishing. The old model for book publishing, which once
brought literature to millions and relied heavily on chain book outlets, wasn't working so well any longer. The failure of Zenith Press to keep our war classic "HELL HAWKS" (co-authored with Thomas J. Jones) in print was the last straw for me.  I wanted to self-publish and explore new avenues for promoting and selling books.

I met Victor in a Virginia writers group in 2014. He knew how to do all that stuff: cover design, text formatting, and more.

I am indebted to Victor for sharing the knowledge that gave me a new beginning as a writer. I then switched to self publishing and from non-fiction to novel writing.

Sadly, many self-published books out there are of poor quality. That should be an indictment on those of us to get it right. So if you're starting on the self-publishing path, you should consider adding Victor to help you.

My new self-published novels, "Hitler's Time Machine" and "Crime Scene: Fairfax County," turned a profit much faster than any traditional book could have done. They'll be followed soon by "CRIME SCENE: SUITLAND, MARYLAND." Guess who's designing the cover?

My new friend

Victor Rook grew up in Western New York near Buffalo where he survived the Blizzard of 1977. He attended Michigan State University and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Computer-Aided Design.  For 13 years he worked as a technical writer and corporate trainer for various companies in Michigan and D.C.

In 1998, Victor jumped ship and began his own company designing websites and producing videos.
The jumping ship reference is his, but he adds, "I wouldn't say I turned my back on corporate America; I did what many entrepreneurs do. I set off to pursue my own dreams and creative endeavors."

His nature film, Beyond The Garden Gate, won two Telly Awards and aired on PBS for four years. While continuing to produce films, he began writing books.

His first book, Musings of a Dysfunctional Life, came about after his mother died in 2008. It's full of humorous and poignant recollections that anybody can relate to.

Vic's second book, In Search of Good Times, is a novel about a man who believes that the sitcom families from "All in the Family" and "Good Times" are real, and sets off on a road trip to find them.

His third book is a compilation of satirical horror stories called People Who Need To Die. In this book, society in the year 2021 is given permission to kill off bad drivers, spammers, obnoxious cell phone users, litterbugs, horrible bosses and more. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed "People Who Need To Die" and how much you'll admire the workings of this original mind. You can get your copy here.

Victor also recently completed a craft book called Dollar Store Crafts & Recipes.

Vic offers his services in graphic design and self-publishing to design other authors' book covers, edit and format their text, and get their books published on Amazon. That's right, he takes you through the entire publishing process. In 2014, influenced by Vic and other self-published authors, and disgusted by traditional publishing,  I wrote my first self-published novel, an alternate history, science-fiction version of World War II titled "Hitler's Time Machine." Vic explained how to get an ISBN number, designed the cover, helped me connect with an editor, formatted the text, and facilitated  communication with Amazon. I wrote "Hitler's Time Machine," but Victor made it happen. His eye-catching cover design is by itself worth the book, which in available on this Blog and here.

When he's not working on books and websites, Victor continues to photograph and videotape nature and area events.


  1. Great blog entry. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed Mr. Rook's stories in "People Who Need To Die"

  2. Bob, you have taught me so many things as well, like always have a book available to sell, and offering discount specials: two books for twice the price of one (LOL), keeping focus, and laughing at the inane in the world. What makes us work well together is you know what you want and when you want it, and I follow through in a timely manner. There are no long waits for responses from either of us. That’s how things get done. I’m looking forward to working on all your new projects and hanging out for a burger or a shake in between. You’ve been a great, supportive friend.