Local author hopes to make the publishing industry more accessible | New

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SPRING HILL — The moment every writer dreams of is seeing their book in print on the shelves of a major bookstore or local library.

Sure, you can write something and convert it to “ebook” format, then sign a deal with Amazon to sell it, and you get a paltry sum for every sale, but there’s always something to keep a physical book in between your hands and read it. .

Sarah J. Nachin of Spring Hill is a writer who has started her own publishing house, Chamber Court Publishing, and she is eager to put her newest novel and the works of other passionate writers into the hands of those who love books.

“The Ghost of Sarey Jane” is Nachin’s latest book, which she describes as a sort of “Romeo and Juliet story” set in Appalachia in 1916. Sarey Jane, a farmer, falls in love with Billy. There is a problem: their families have been quarreling since the civil war. They run away and trigger many events.

Nachin won’t say more. You’ll have to read the book to find out what’s going on.

The 73-year-old recently sat in a Dunkin’, sipping coffee and talking about her fascinating life. She grew up in a military family, she said, and was, well, everywhere. The pride in her voice is evident as she describes her father, Edward Smith, whose service in the Air Force during World War II and in the independent US Air Force spanned 30 years.

He rose from the bottom, she said, as a ball turret gunner on B-17 Flying Fortresses on combat missions over Germany, then went to weather school and became a forecaster, and retired at the rank of chief warrant officer 4.

“He had all the privileges of an officer, but none of the responsibilities,” she said with a smile.

According to Air Force Magazine (“The In-Betweeners,” November 1, 1991), the Air Force stopped appointing non-commissioned officers in 1959, but those already in service could remain at that rank.

The Air Force’s last warrant officer retired in 1980, according to the article.

Nachin’s first book came out in 2001 and was called “Ordinary Heroes: Anecdotes of Veterans”. The 32 stories in the book begin with a story close to his heart: that of his father. But unfortunately it is incomplete.

Long after his death at 82, she said, she found a spiral notebook with his writings, including the beginnings of an account of a young man going to war in Europe via various stops in the States United to train.

His story ends one morning in July 1944, as his troop transport leaves for Europe and the war. “He never finished it, to my knowledge,” Nachin wrote in a postscript.

A reunion of her late father’s bomb squad in September 2000 and an encounter with a veteran of that group inspired her to interview veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, and to do publish their stories.

She had started writing in school and loved writing essays, poems and songs.

“Even when you had an assignment at school to write an essay or an essay, I really got into it,” she said. “I went above and beyond because I really enjoyed it.”

Her parents would sit with her and give her suggestions on how to write her essays.

She also read and added, “I think to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader.”

In 2018, Nachin released what she calls “a humorous travelogue with elements of fantasy” titled “The Odyssey of Clyde the Camel”, based on a trip to Europe she took in 2014 with her two grandchildren, and the resulting humorous mishaps.

“It’s 90% done, with a few embellishments,” she said. “It can be enjoyed by children, as well as adults.”

For a time, she worked in advertising for the former newspaper “Hernando Today”, then for a local publishing house.

She occasionally writes freelance articles for the Hernando Sun newspaper, she said, and sometimes covers current events for that newspaper.

“The ghost of Sarey Jane” came to Nachin “totally out of the blue,” she said.

She had read “southern” genres and said that’s probably where her ideas came from.

“My book is Southern Gothic, so it has some of those characteristics, but I try to put a positive spin on it,” she said. “I call it a 20th century ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tale, with a twist of ‘Macbeth’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.”

It’s less of a tragedy than a “bittersweet romance,” Nachin said, and it attempts to teach some life lessons about prejudice, class distinctions and the culture of the time. There’s a discussion and study guide at the end, which makes it ideal for schools and book clubs, she said.

Getting a book published is probably the hardest part of writing for people. Nachin joined a Facebook group and learned what she needed to do. Members criticized each other’s query letters and arguments, and she said that was helpful.

“I’ve sent query letters to a few agents and a few publishers,” she said, “and got some nice turndowns.”

She didn’t want her book to come out with “Amazon Publishing” or “Kindle Publishing”, so she did some research and found that the name “Chamber Court Publishing” was available.

She became a publisher herself and is now helping someone else write a book, she said.

A traditional publisher will change things up, she says, and if you get an advance, you have to sell a lot of books to make up for the advance.

Getting published can take years and you usually have to be a well-known person or celebrity, then a “ghost” often writes the book.

Nachin started working on a prequel to ‘The Ghost of Sarey Jane’, she said, because one piece of advice she got was that ‘to really be successful and make money, you have to have a series. which sells”.

She might build stories around the other characters, so this first prequel will be the story of Sarey Janes’ parents.

“I’m working on a historical novel set in the 1960s and 1970s,” she said. “I call it a cross between ‘The Quiet American’ and ‘Forrest Gump.'”

It is about a female journalist who covers the war in Indochina in the 1950s, then events in the United States in the 1960s.

Her job is no longer just about publishing her books, she said.

“I want to give people a way to get their books published where it would have a mark of legitimacy and it would be done professionally,” she said.

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