Student Pens Debut Novel

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Jeremy Grace
Freshman Jeremy Grace had his first novel published in September of 2008. (Melissa Stihl|Foghorn)

Writing a ten-page paper is a daunting task for many students; writing an actual novel is almost unthinkable. This daring task did not stop first time author, track runner, and USF freshman English major, Jeremy Grace from penning his first novel “The Clover Pub.”
“The Clover Pub” is about a man going through a mid-life crisis who decides to write his own book to find the happiness that he is missing in his life. Through this experience he ends up affecting those closest to him, but finds a new meaning of life.
Grace said he was inspired to write a novel after his junior year English class exposed him to some influential literature. One book that stood out as a strong influence for Grace was the classic novel “The Great Gatsby” because it has a great setting and there are strong emotions in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s characters. Another book that inspired him was “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe because he said the novel explores the idea of humans trying to maximize the pleasure in life and growing tired of trying to live up to that ideal.
Grace came up with the idea of his novel when he kept on thinking of it every night and added new ways for it to grow. He wrote an outline at the beginning of his writing process to map out the main events of his novel. Grace wrote an average of two to four pages a day after cross country practice and would write all day during times that he was free. During the writing process, Grace said, “There were points I wasn’t pleased; nothing seemed to work.” He said that he would sit there and concentrate for five minutes until he had something to work with. Grace said one of the easiest parts of writing the novel was coming up with dialogue because there were no rules and he was able to express whatever he wanted, which was natural to him. The most difficult aspects were the editing and publishing processes, and the anticipation of seeing it in print.
Grace sent his novel to Authorhouse, a publishing company located in Bloomingdale, Indiana. He found Authorhouse while searching for publishing houses that focus on working with first time authors. It took a while for Authorhouse to respond, which caused Grace to resend his manuscript. Then he went through the editing process and spoke with a of team designers to determine the cover that he wanted for his novel. By speaking to the team of designers, Grace was able to determine the chapter setup and title page.
After that he spoke to sales people on how they were going to market his novel and the money he would receive from it. He receives a royalty of 10%, an estimated $1.10 for each book sold. However, he did have to pay a fee of around $1000 to cover editing and production costs. The entire editing and publishing process was done through phone and email.
When asked if there was an intended audience for his novel, Grace said no because he wanted to write something that anybody could relate to and that would make them feel happy about their existence.
For future plans, Grace says “I definitely have more ideas for more books swinging around in my head.” He also adds “I definitely would try to get into poetry. I haven’t chosen a distinct style, [I want] study it more. Definitely became more interested in it after taking literature courses in general.” In addition, he says “I like to get into journalism and magazine writing as one of my future goals.” The novel is available online at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

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