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October, 2015

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In this issue... My Manuscript Grew a Beard

My Manuscript Grew a Beard

by Bruce L. Cook

I started writing Harmony of Nations in 1970 but didn’t publish it until 2012 – that’s 42 years! This might set a record - longest ever time to write a novel. (Tell me about your, longer, experience!) ... (continued below)










My Manuscript Grew a Beard (continued)... (continued)

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I started writing Harmony of Nations in 1970 but didn’t publish it until 2012 – that’s 42 years!

This might set a record - longest ever time to write a novel. (Tell me about your, longer, experience!)

In 1970 I started two novels while stationed on the coast in Italy

On return to the US, I completed one and arranged for an agent to review it. Like most writers, I was fully prepared for instant success.

His response – no novel could be that short.

This felt like a blow to the chest. It was 1974 and I was mired in doctoral studies. Upset, I set the project aside, planning to eventually merge the two novels together to make one with the required length.

I carefully placed the novels in a half-inch thick box that originally held Eaton's Corrasable Bond, erasable typing paper. (In those days a manuscript was typed, retyped, and retyped in full.)

In the years that followed I was stacking my published works in one area, but always wondered where I could find those two novels. They were the only manuscripts I couldn’t find.

In 1999 I was moving from Chicago to North Carolina. I sorted through my collection of typing papers, throwing some away and placing others into a box for the move. Eventually I lifted that old Easton Corrasable Bond box and balanced it, wondering why in the world I would ever need a box of erasable typing paper. I almost threw it away.

Thankfully, my curiosity got the best of me, I was about to toss it when I it occurred to me – why not take a look to find out whether how well this expensive paper had held up over the years. For instance, had it yellowed by now? With that in mind, I cracked the half inch box open and pulled out one of the sheets. Voila! It was a title page of my novel from Italy!

Thrilled and challenged, I plunged back into those novels. Just when my interest started to fade, I heard from an acquisitions editor regarding another novel and persuaded her to wait for my Italian gem.

Finally, in 2010, 40 years after I had started, I reached my final chapters, intimidated by the thought of completion. Further, I felt challenged by trying to tie all the story threads together, for the novel itself covered a 78-year time span!

Nearing the end, I succumbed to writing block. Then I experienced two nights of vivid dreams. I saw the final sequences playing out. Overwhelmed and full of elation, I wrote the last section. It just flowed from the memory of those dreams. Naturally, I still think the conclusion was brilliant!

After a period of tough editing and criticism by my friend Kenneth Mulholland, I revised the work and sent it off. In 2012 my novel, Harmony of Nations: 1943 – 2020, was published in Germany.

You can see the finished work (with no beard) at the website I later created for it www.HarmonyofNations.com.


Humanity´s existence is on peril. Its worst enemy is not only violence, war or terrorism, but also a profound lack of love, sensibility and empathy. A complete change for all of us is possible, but only will arrive from an innovative thought and a serious research on the possible ways out. 

The solution to our problem hides in this book…Let us find the cure to this severe illness that is causing the decadence and perhaps death of our blue planet Earth. 


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Publishing New Writers,

October 2015 (no. 1610)


Dr. Bruce L. Cook
1407 Getzelman Drive
Elgin, IL 60123

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