Thursday, January 1, 2009

BAD LATITUDE - A Jack Rackham Adventure

BAD LATITUDE - A Jack Rackham Adventure is finally up for sale. The book was published in November, but my Chicago trip & workload held up the official release. It's finally for sale at under the fiction/adventure category.

Here's where it gets tough for me. Marketing. I honestly don't like talking about myself - unless it's something funny. On the business side - making pitches to clients on potential deals involving multi-million dollar construction & development projects is a walk in the park - because that's business - I'm expected to do that & I'm paid for that, but I never mention all of the awards that have come my way for various Medical Centers or Office Complexes or the fact that I built one of the very first 'Green' buildings before 'Green' was cool. Writing about wacky stuff that goes on around here or with my family - no problem - I'm only a part of that, like being the driver in the post about the boots a few weeks back. Explaining that I've written a book for kids, one that's actually pretty good - I'd be more comfortable slamming my hand in a car door.

My friend Mark LaFlamme (super talented author of the books DIRT: An American Campaign, THE PINK ROOM & VEGETATION) tells me I had better get over this in a hurry. He's right of course - & his advice has been invaluable - but I'm still uncomfortable.

My wonderful wife Deb has always been very shy. Everyone that meets her walks away knowing that she's a real sweetheart - a great person, extremely likable. She has battled her shyness on my behalf talking up BAD LATITUDE & now several local stores, including the Florida Park Service & the county tourism centers, have agreed to stock it. In every instance, when she has brought the topic up, I've run off to hide. This morning, she asked why it's not on Facebook & why haven't I blogged about it - the book has been available now for about a week. So, with my tail between my legs, I'm working on this blog post, with sweaty hands & a very red face, wondering if I'll hit the publish button in the end.

In a nutshell, BAD LATITUDE is an adventure story for kids that like books with a fast pace, a mix of history & humor, creepy ghosts and a dash of the old 'I didn't see that comin' factor. The story follows the summer of fifteen-year-old Jack Rackham, the descendant of the pirate Calico Jack Rackam (who will make an appearance) & his friends Kai, Valerie & Talia in my haunted hometown of St Augustine Florida. Since they can't drive yet, they get around using Jack's boat BAD LATITUDE, an incredibly awesome high performance machine given to Jack as a gift from his very wealthy grandparents. Naturally the kids do what all kids do down here - They surf, kiteboard, have beach parties, explore the local attractions & deal with their awkward first 'romances'. When Jack is given a 300-year-old diary that describes a fortune hidden away in the burial grounds of Rattlesnake Island (a real place by the way - 2 miles from my house - all locations in the book are real) he & best friend Kai become obsessed with finding the loot, not realizing that, if successful in their search, they may not escape from the island with their lives. This ultimately forces the choice between wealth & friendship.

One other note - This book is totally clean. There is no profanity, adult situations, drugs, drinking or any behavior that I wouldn't condone for kids. In that sense, it's not "edgy" &, while I was told that "edgy" sells better - I wasn't willing to compromise in this area.

There's an excerpt on my author page (prologue & 1st 2 chapters) - just Google BAD LATITUDE A JACK RACKHAM ADVENTURE & that will take you to my author page at It's also available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble & other websites but they haven't posted the description or excerpt yet - probably not for a week or so.

So that's my first attempt at plugging my own work. In the meantime, RECKLESS ENDEAVOR, my 2nd book, is moving along well & I'm excited with the way it's coming together. Maybe that's part of my problem (that & being a computer-idiot). I'd rather create tall tales than market them - but I'll work on it. Now if I could only figure out how to add links.....


Sue said...

Sounds like a great book Dave! I'm anxious to pick up a copy for my 11 year old son, an avid reader like myself, and read it as well. Don't be shy about writing of your accomplishments...ya done good!

Mark LaFlamme said...

You've been published three days and you've already got a fan club. Seriously, friend, you've got a way of connecting with people that will serve you well. Of course, Jack Rackham will be doing all the work.
Looking forward to this one. You da man.

JaxPop said...

Thanks Sue & Mark. It's just kinda scary. I've gotten good reviews in the past, but they were only on partials. This is where the rubber hits the road. Jack will be fine - Dave (JaxPop) is the one that's more likely to screw things up. Have a great New Year. By the way, I'm diggin' the outdoor hockey.

Sheila said...

Can't wait to read this, Dave! The prologue and teaser chapter have me hooked. Good luck with this. Hope you sell a million!

JaxPop said...

Sheila - A Million??? I guess I can always dream. HeHe - Only 999,987 to go. Thanks for your encouragement.

liquidambar said...


If you're looking for marketing advice for people who aren't crazy about marketing, check out Shrinking Violets Promotions:

Scroll back in the archives to find their series of posts on how to prepare for a book launch and how to get the word out.

I get nothing from plugging the Violets--I just spread the word because I've learned so much from their site!

Also, are you on the blue boards? Tons of great advice there.

Re "clean" vs. "edgy," I don't think either one necessarily has the advantage. Writers have to write what's natural for themselves and the characters.

Jenn Hubbard

Sheila said...

Sure. Why not? Gotta dream big!

Pocket Full of Prettys said...

Found your blog via wonders never cease. Your book sounds like something that my Grandson's would love. Best of luck to you! Renea

JaxPop said...

Jenn - Thanks for the tips & the congratulations - I'll check the links out tonight (after the Penn State drubbing is over). The "edgy" thing was something mentioned to me over a year ago by 3 folks that told me certain 'stuff' was needed & expected if I ever wanted to sell books. I agree with you. You have to write the way you're most comfortable.

Sheila - I've always been a dreamer. Sometimes that's good... at other times ... it's great.

PFofP - I hope he likes it. Thanks for the good wishes. Becky's blog is awesome - as is her book French By Heart - but I'll still never eat collards. I don't care how much she might recommend them.

Sheila said...

Dave, gotta dream big! It's the only way to go.
Here's hoping to seeing you and Deb in Maine this upcoming summer! "Clink!"

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Awesome! That's fantastic! I can't wait to get my copy!
Congratulations, my friend!
PS. I hate collards too! My hubby loves them, so I put a clothespin on my nose and try not to gak.

JaxPop said...

Sheila - We're hoping to go to Maine & Nova Scotia in the summer. Last time I visited (years ago) it was in August. Is that as warm as it gets?

Becky - Thanks. I can't wait to hear what you think of it. Now on to the collards - Do your kids like 'em or is it just Todd? Did he grow 'em in his elevated garden?

Sheila said...

Maine is great in the summer..well, we won't talk about last year. Ya gotta come up! Great places to see. You'll love it.

ToddR said...

Heavens no, my kids won't touch them with a ten foot pole! Yes, he grew them in his elevated garden, but the chipmunks got to them before he could. (Yey chipmunks!) Unfortunately they had plenty for sale at the grocery store.

And yey! I just ordered your book with a Christmas giftcard from B&N!
Can't wait!

JaxPop said...

Todd (ahem...) Chipmunks! You know - I haven't seen one since moving here - plenty of gators, snakes, hawks, eagles .... hmmm... maybe that's why I don't see.... Chipmunks. Anxious for your honest appraisal on BL. Reminder - Front porch is always open for watching the shuttle launches!!!

Ronnie said...

Way to go, Dave! (Geez, that chipmunk connection again.)
I ordered your book TODAY! So, add that toward the million goal.
Loved the opening line. Now that's a hook!
Spent the day in Fernandina the day after Christmas.
Got some great pictures from the boat upon approach from St. Marys. Foggy and Spooky! I've been a lamer than usual blogger lately, but I'll post these actually beautiful pics later this week.

JaxPop said...

Thanks Ronnie - I'm workin' on cornering a bunch of fans state by state it seems - Got parts of Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Florida & now Georgia. So you're carrying Jack's banner up there in Alan Jackson's stompin' grounds. Hope you like it - let me know.

Sheila said...

It's good to be in Alan Jackson stompin ground. 'Cause you know what they say: "It's five o'clock somewhere!"

JaxPop said...

Hey Sheila - You're right - It's always 5 o'clock somewhere - which is why he also has the new song out now called 'Good Time'.

Ronnie - Glad you're enjoying Becky's book. Meant to type that earlier.

Promise I'll post something new soon. I've been working on book promo & attempting to set up a website.

Ronnie said...

Hey Dave,
GOT THE BOOK! Looks GOOOOOD. Only glanced so far, but I'll be diving into it.
Thanks for the link to Russ Kramer.
Phenomenal Guy! Loved seeing his process. Freaking genius. I'll be studying his site.
And thanks for the kind comments about Tomato Boy. It's all fuel for the fire!