Read Shakebags & Co. here: http://www.amazon.com/Shakebags-Co-Joshua-Grasso-ebook/dp/B01ETWWL0G?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
About ten years ago I wrote my first novel as a way of relieving stress from writing my PhD dissertation. Honestly, I wrote a few pages of one and then wrote a few pages of the other. Needless to say, some of my dissertation--on 18th c. travel writing and piracy--wound up in the novel, and a little of the storytelling aspect wound up in the dissertation. When my mentor asked me during my dissertation defense what aspect of the work I was most proud of, I said, "I liked being able to tell the story of the people and the literature they created." Her response: "that was the least successful part of your dissertation." Ouch. Nevertheless, I still defended successfully, though I hope that the novel is by far the better work, since I've spent the last few years writing and re-writing it, trying to get it to sound less 'academic' and more entertaining.
Once I obtained my first academic job, I submitted the novel to more publishers and agents than I thought humanly possible. All of them passed on it, most of them not even bothering to respond to my query (typical). My initial response was to destroy it as a youthful transgression, but since I was 30 at the time I wrote it, that doesn't hold much water. So I put it aside, wrote other works, and gradually forgot all about it. But last year, bolstered by the modest success of my other works, I decided to dust it off and read it from beginning to end. I was not happy with the work as it stood, so I re-wrote large chunks of it, made the characters a bit more interesting and distinct, and slightly changed the ending. I think it holds up as a fun, quick read with a few ideas to chew on. I had no plan to publish it, however; I instead submitted it to a few more agents and entered it into two novel-writing contests. Though I got some genuine interest among readers on Inkitt, the contests rejected it and the agents ignore me once more.
So now I offer it for 99 cents on Amazon as a Kindle download. If you like the exploits of thieves in a quasi-18th century setting, wizards, intrigue, cabals, and mystery, I know you'll like at least some of this work. And if you read all or part of the work, please give it a review, since that's the only coin that has any value in the indie publishing world.
You can sample 15 chapters from the novel on Inkitt for free here: http://www.inkitt.com/stories/13041
Or, you can download it for 99 cents here: http://www.amazon.com/Shakebags-Co-Joshua-Grasso-ebook/dp/B01ETWWL0G?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0