Negative Split – The Novel

Bear with me while I talk about running again, but there’s a point.

As many of you know, I took up running later in life, eight years ago at age 40. And because I tend to go all in on something that hooks me, a year later I ran my first marathon.

Now, that marathon wasn’t pretty, but that didn’t matter to me. I finished. Although I set no style points that day and made a ton of first-timer mistakes, I was still proud of the accomplishment.

I wasn’t a once and done, either. I stuck with running and eventually improved in the marathon, through studying and practice. Now, I have become a decent, if not above average, marathon runner.

gf29054_a2So, with that introduction, I am proud to announce my first novel. I wrote the first draft of this story a year ago, right after my employer shutdown our manufacturing plant, and I had plenty of free time. It’s taken me a year to rewrite, edit and prepare the story for self-publishing.

Like that first marathon, I’m sure this book has its flaws. I’m confident it will not ever be considered among the great works of fiction. Eventually, I hope it won’t be considered MY best. But it’s not a bad little story, and I am proud of it.

Much time and effort went into creating this novel, and I took it very seriously. Like that first marathon, it IS the best I have to offer right now, and I don’t view this as a one and done. I’m already working on book number two, as I am studying and practicing to become a better writer and storyteller.

Not everyone will like my book, of course, and that’s fine. I didn’t write it for everybody. That’s impossible. I have received positive feedback from several people who were kind enough to be beta (pre-release) readers and give me feedback on my way to the final published version.

Even though this is “self-published” (I’ll possibly write about that in some future posts), I have tried to deliver a professional product. After all, it has my name on it. I think I’ve done that. Maybe you’ll find a typo here or there, but a lot of editing and proofreading has gone into it.

To sell through and Kindle, I had to choose a classification. My advisers said Fiction-Romance-Contemporary. So guys, don’t let that scare you. I’ll admit this may be a Hallmark Channel-type story, but I don’t think it’s too sappy. There’s even a sports-related side story. Just buy it for your wife or girlfriend and borrow it from her when she’s done.

So what’s the story about?
The single word theme might be redemption.

Here’s the back cover summary:

Nathan Stiles has a problem. OK, maybe he has more than one problem. Once America’s most popular romance novelist, Nathan has not published in over five years. As the finish line looms for perhaps his last chance at publishing another book, Nathan finds himself in terrible shape, both mentally and physically. He also finds himself without a place to live when his wife tells him she wants a divorce. A visit to his old high school cross country coach may solve his homeless problem, but are Coach Willie’s lessons enough for Nathan to figure out how to rewrite the ending to this story?

Also, there’s a link to an excerpt of Chapter 1 at the end of this message.

Now, this is the part as an independent author, introvert and semi-loner, that scares me the most – Sales and Marketing.

“I don’t need your help,” is the opening line of my book. Unlike that statement from my protagonist, I do need your help.

Would I like you to buy the book? Sure, but more importantly, I need friends to share the links to my marketing places: the author Facebook page, my new author web site and, of course, the Amazon link for purchase.

At this point, one of my goals is to land a book deal with one of the few remaining publishing houses. One thing publishers look at is audience size. So, the number of likes on Facebook and the size of my email address list matter. Please consider doing both. Those are free to do. 🙂

So, here’s the order of importance of ways you can help:

1. If you use Facebook, please like or follow my new Greg Fowler, Author Facebook page:
(FYI – this is separate from the KeyOfGF blog Facebook page if you’ve liked that in the past.)

2. Signup to receive emails from the web page.

I am considering having blog on the site that talks about self publishing, the creative process, and other stuff related to becoming an author. Here’s a link to that page:

3. Share the link.

Go to this link and use the social media buttons to share:

4. Use the Facebook share button on the author web site:

I’m supposed to have a limited supply of signed books that can go out before Christmas, but right now that order has not arrived.

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • A Kindle version will be available very soon. I’m a one-man show on this and some of the back-end technical aspects of Kindle are giving me problems.
  • If you are kind enough to purchase a copy, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. I’m not 100% sure if you can leave a review there if you purchased through the author site, but please try. Reviews help drive sales, especially good reviews.
  • Finally, my author’s site shopping cart checkout process is through PayPal. This is the most economical way for me. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to use this. You can pay with your usual credit card through their service. The vendor will show as M.G. Outfitters, LLC. That is me, so it’s OK.

Thanks again, folks. Feel free to post questions on the Facebook author page. You can also send me a private email at

Make your second half better than the first.


PS. As promised, here’s the link to the excerpt on the author site: also works for the new author website.



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