December 20, 2015 | Posted in Air Force, Author, Blog, Classified, Classified Information, Congress, Cyber attack, Department of Defense, E.O. 12333, FISA, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Leaks, NSA, PPD-28, President Obama, Privacy, Snowden, U.S. Code Title 10, U.S. Code Title 50, Writing | By Tom Wither
I hope you’ve had a great summer and fall, and are enjoying the holiday season. I’d like to extend my thanks for being fans of my work, and wish you happy holidays and a bright new year.
I’ve been busy crafting my next novel, a project I’ve named ROGUE SENTINEL, and I will finish the manuscript shortly after the New Year. ROGUE SENTINEL will see Shane Mathews take on a solo mission to Jordan to find and capture an Islamic State mission planner known only as ‘Al-Amriki’ – The American.
Up next, I’ll be resuming work on SWIFT JUSTICE, the third and concluding novel of the ‘Aziz Trilogy’ that started with THE INHERITOR and AUTUMN FIRE, with main characters Shane Mathews and Emily Thompson.
During the year I’ve written a few Op-Eds on current issues that have been published in the Baltimore Sun and in The Hill’s Congress Blog. Here’s a list so you can look at them if you’re interested.
‘The NSA data collection program isn’t criminal; ending it is’ – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-nsa-data-20151203-story.html
‘Open Letter from a cyber terrorist’ – http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/255370-open-letter-from-a-cyber-terrorist
‘Stand with our watchers’ – http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/261237-stand-with-our-watchers
‘Access to encrypted communication, a balancing act’ – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-encryption-data-20151001-story.html
‘Clinton E-mails: Who else was involved?’ – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-clinton-emails-20150908-story.html
‘The country is vulnerable without CISPA’ – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-cispa-redux-20150209-story.html
Thanks again for being fans of my stories, and feel free make them presents for the fiction reader on your holiday list – they can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel as e-books or hardcopies in trade paperback. You can even contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org for a signed copy if you like.
Take care and Happy Holidays!
Spring 2015 News
I hope everyone is enjoying Spring. It’s been off to a cool start here in Maryland, but it’s nice to see everything beginning to bloom again.
I’d like to thank Dan Rodricks and Nikki Gamer for having me on Dan’s WYPR Radio ‘Midday’ show last January to discuss Cyber threats. I hope you will take some time to listen to it.
Signed Book Giveaway on Goodreads:
I’ll be running a signed book giveaway on Goodreads from 1 May – 31 May. Five lucky winners will receive signed copies of THE INHERITOR and AUTUMN FIRE, along with special gift. To enter, go to www.goodreads.com/giveaway and search for my name. Click on the ‘Enter to Win’ button for the give away(s) of your choice and good luck!
Next Novel Update:
I’m currently working on the manuscript for the third novel in the ‘Aziz’ series that began with THE INHERITOR, followed by AUTUMN FIRE. SWIFT JUSTICE will round out the intended trilogy and bring what I hope will be an exciting conclusion to the series. No release date is set yet for SWIFT JUSTICE, but I’ll be sure to post it on my Facebook page (Tom Wither – Writer), and Twitter once I it has been established.
Thanks again for subscribing to my e-mail list and I hope you will encourage your friends who enjoy military/espionage thrillers to sign up as well. You will not receive any spam, nor do I share my e-mail list with any other organizations or advertisers.
Enjoy the warmer weather!
I completed my first novel manuscript this past Spring, and I’m currently in search of a literary agent to represent me. I’ll say up front that the comments that follow are based on my research into the process, and my limited experiences accumulated to date. Take it for what it’s worth, as one fledgling writer’s initial slog through the rites of publication.
The novel manuscript is a thriller, 113,000+ words in length (390+ pages) and is grounded in my extensive professional experience in the Air Force coupled with my love of reading and desire to tell an engaging story.
I began writing the book in August of 2007, and once the manuscript was completed, reviewed and re-edited, began searching for an agent to represent me in late June 2008.
I sent my first query letter out on the 16th of June. To date, I’ve sent out 31 queries from the 16th of June through the 7th of July, and received 16 polite “thank you, no” responses. On the 14th of July, I received my first request for the complete manuscript for review from a reputable and from what my research has discovered, active agent located in New York.
I sent the complete manuscript, along with the package of information requested, back to the interested agent on the 16th of July. As of today, I’m still waiting for the response to my requested submission from the interested agent, and don’t seriously expect to hear anything for at least another two to three weeks.
For anyone contemplating the pursuit of a writing career: Patience is required. Once you’ve completed and polished your manuscript (an exercise in dedication, planning, and hard work in itself), the search for an interested publisher or agent consumes a great deal of time. Time on your part to do your research, find an agent/publisher who works in/represents your chosen literary field, draft a quality proposal or query letter, and then get a positive response. More patience is needed while a busy agent or publisher finally finds the time to review your submission and choose to respond. Remember that you are not the only writer out there attempting to get published.
Bear a few things in mind. While you’re in a hurry for their answer, they are busy people. Agents need to attend to their active clients first, before they can find the time to deal with a potential new client’s material. Acquisitions editors are dealing with the 10 books they are already seriously considering, the 10 books in the editing process, and the 10 books nearly ready to head to the actual production process. I suggest you put the time to good use by working on your next writing project.
When an editor or agent can find the time, especially after they have asked for your manuscript, they should find time to get back to you. If you’ve waited a reasonable amount of time (4 – 6 weeks, or the agent or editor’s normal response time you’ve found in your research) contact them via e-mail or letter (do not call) and politely request the status of your submitted material.
I’ll post more as this process plays out, and good luck to my fellow writers out there working towards the day when you hold your first book or other published work in hand.