Delayed gratification is something that isn’t enjoyed by everyone. Not so for one Sampson Community College instructor.
For Lew (Lewis P. ) Gravis, the delay has extended for more than three decades, but has brought its own kind of joy with the pubilcation of his book as an eBook.
Gravis began writing his book “To Kill for a Fortune” at the age of 16. He worked on it, he said, for nine months and completed the work at the ripe age of 17. Writing the book in long hand, using typewriter paper, it lay dormant in a tattered folder for 15 years before the author started working on it again.
Gravis has worked at Sampson Community College his entire professional career. He came to SCC after receiving his master’s degree in sociology in 1991 from Ball State University. After teaching sociology for 14 years he became the online learning coordinator in 2005. Then, in 2009, Gravis became the director of Distance Learning, a position he continues to hold today. The author is married Tammy, an SEO specialist, and they have a 20-year-old son, Blake, who is a junior at East Carolina University. The family resides in Eastover.
“I am really excited to finally get the book published,” Gravis said during a recent interview. “After disappointments with trying to get it published, it feels great to finally have it available for others to read. I did not write the book to become rich so I am offering if for the price of $0.99 at Amazon.com,” explained the instructor. “And for those that are really interested in reading the book, I am going to offer it to the readers of The Independent for free for five days, Aug. 17-22.”
Gravis discovered his manuscript while going through some materials stored at his parents house. He was 32 at the time. He said he pulled it from the tattered folder and decided to publish it. Just as he got a deal with a publishing company and was about to go to press, the company folded and so did his dream of being published.
“I was so disappointed that I just put the book on the back burner and did not think much more about it until later,” explained Gravis.
Another 15 years would pass before he would pull the book back out and start looking for a method to publish his manuscript.
The sociology instructor had mentioned his book in class and one of his former students sent him a message on Facebook asking for an autographed copy. This gave Gravis the inspiration to get back to work on his book. He had typed the book 15 years earlier when he was trying to get it published so he decided to dust it off, regroup and try again.
“It was a bit of a challenge to convert the book from the 3.5 inch disk to Microsoft Word but once I did I was able to tweak the book in a few minor ways. I did not want to make any revisions to the book that would change the original storyline and written integrity so I intentionally did not make any significant changes to the novel,” remarked Gravis.
The author eventually was able to secure an exclusive deal with Amazon.
He said Amazon allows authors to set the prices for their books, and since Gravis did not publish the book for the money, he set the cost low. He even offers the first chapter of the book to be accessed at Amazon for those searching for a book. “To Kill for a Fortune” is downloadable as a Kindle book, which can be given and received by anyone with an e-mail address. Kindle books can be read on a Kindle or by using one of Amazon’s free reading apps for a tablet, smart phone or PC.
Gravis laughs now as he describes the storyline and gives a brief synopsis of the book.
“The book is loosely based on factual occurrences in my life, but it is not a totally true reflection. There are places in the book that someone from the area in Chicago would quickly recognized,” expressed the author.
Brandon Johnston is the main character. Engaged to be married to the woman of his dreams and born to wealthy parents, the 17-year-old seems to be living a storybook life. The problem lies in the relationship Brandon has with his wealthy entrepreneur father, Ron Johnston ,and a tumultuous relationship develops. Brandon only wants what his father apparently cannot give him — his unconditional love.
As their relationship deteriorates, Brandon’s father does not trust his son and becomes very distrustful not only of his heir but to most everyone else as well. Because of the continued dysfunctional relationship, Brandon is forced to make decisions to seek revenge against his father.
“Writing the book was very cathodic for me when I wrote it and now it is just a thrill for me to be able to share it with others. Today everyone is talking about their bucket lists. Getting this book published was one of the items on my list and now it is done and I can check it off,” cited Gravis.
Will he write another books. Gravis said no likely, or not, at least, until he retires from his day job.“I might then publish some poetry that my wife thinks I should share, but I am not certain at this point in my life,” remarked the author.
For more information about the author or his book visit http://tokillforafortune.com.