When I think of inspiring authors, I don’t always think of the ones with a trillion followers and trending hashtags. I think of writers who became authors because of a need. Something inside pulled and pushed until their path was chosen. The content is personal and they went through turmoil to reach this point. The text and the space between the words are who they are. So in publishing, they are choosing to share a part of themselves with the world, for a greater good.
I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to be the one to help take, this already incredible book, to the next level. As I worked through the content, I learned so much about the author's world and what he had gone through. As an author myself, having released a book that was personally difficult for me to write, I understood that writing his story must not have been easy, but I also knew that it was absolutely necessary. If you have ever been in a position, backed against a wall, and accused of something you didn’t do, you will understand why this book HAD to be part of literary history.
About Death of the Public Servant:
Whether it’s a public health and safety mandate, the enforcement of building and safety codes, or the actions of law enforcement officers within a municipal police department, most people tend to think of Washington D.C. when it comes to the government. The sober reality, however, is that the most relevant government happens at the local level.
Death of a Public Servant is a true story about a former City Manager’s personal experience. After serving his community for thirty years, he was accused of misconduct, labeled a whistleblower, and publicly terminated. These actions would blackball his reputation and nearly destroy his personal life. Over the next six years, he would embark on the steep, uphill journey to clear his name in court, while attempting to pivot from an otherwise stellar career in public service. After a challenging and lengthy court battle, he would go on to win a multi-million-dollar jury verdict.
This book delves into the intricacies of the local public administrator role from the vantage point of someone with firsthand experience. It is raw and unfiltered and shines a light on the actions of elected officials which often go unchecked. It is both personal and thought-provoking and will leave you to consider your civic responsibility as a member of your local community.
'Daniel is a former public administrator with over thirty years’ experience in local government. After his public termination from a Broward City, he was forced to relocate out of state to attempt to reset his career and his life, but because of the permanent damage done to his career and professional reputation, he was unable to find a job. He ultimately began a non-profit organization with a mission to develop affordable housing. Daniel and his wife Maria have been married thirty-five years and are parents to daughters Nicholle and Alexis.'
As a writer and publisher, I see hundreds of manuscripts. Why did this one stand out? To understand, you need to know the author's journey. A few months ago, I interviewed Daniel in the hopes that his words inspire you as much as they do me.
Interview with Daniel A. Rosemond
Question: What was the inspiration behind Death of The Public Servant?
Daniel: It was inspired by an experience I went through as a City Manager of a medium-sized city in Broward County, Florida. As I struggled to process the trauma I endured, I became withdrawn from my family. It was our eldest daughter who suggested that I begin journaling since I couldn't talk about it. That exercise translated into an outline, which then morphed into a draft manuscript.
Question: What challenges did you face writing it?
Daniel: The challenge of having to relive painful episodes in order to fully articulate the context for what I sought to describe. In many instances, I found myself feeling physical manifestations of cold shivers as I wrote particular portions of the story. The other challenges were deciding how candid to tell the story (i.e. use real names vs. fictitious names), and what level of detail to share.
Question: What kind of research did you do?
Answer: Quite a bit. I researched data and statistics that I included in the book, as well as conversations with other professional administrators. I read articles, watched news clips, and referenced several books- mostly academic in nature.
Question: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on (if any)?
Daniel: None. This was truly a 'maiden voyage' for me.
Question: How have your family and the public reacted to your book?
Daniel: Wow, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Not from the standpoint of being gleeful (the story at times is hard to read), but from the standpoint of how relatable the book is and how easy to read it is. And this has come from a number of people from varied walks of life. That part has been truly validating.
Question: Can you describe your book signing experience?
Daniel: Oh my goodness, it was AMAZING! I went into it rather reluctantly but committed to following the recommendations of my phenomenal publisher (Lynette Greenfield). I identified a bookstore at a location that I thought would be convenient for people to get to and be conducive for attracting guests. I scheduled the event for a Saturday afternoon (3:00-6:00) strategically thinking that this would be a window when most folks are in between running errands and figuring out where to go out for dinner. It worked out great and the turnout exceeded my wildest expectations.
Question: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Daniel: Both. There were times when writing Death of the Public Servant was emotionally draining. But generally, writing for me has come fairly easy. The challenge is always being mindful of your particular audience and writing in a way that you believe best connects with them.
Question: Do you try and deliver to readers what they want?
Daniel: To some extent. I think being sensitive to your readers is important. But it's more important to be true to yourself and your story- whatever that happens to be. I think readers can discern genuineness, so that was my main focus, to stay genuine.
Question: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Daniel: Perhaps. But I'm not that person. I believe some people are gifted with the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas in writing. The question is, how compelling would those thoughts and ideas be if the writer didn't really feel emotionally connected to them?
Question: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Daniel: The only two names that come to mind are Marcel Sanchez and Cayil Champion. Both have written a couple of books. I don't believe my relationship with either had any influence on my own writing.
Question: Are you considering writing more titles?
Daniel: Yes, I am. If so, do you want each book to stand on its own, or would you try to build a body of work with connections between each book? The next book (Christian Genre) would be a varied take on Death of the Public Servant. The other titles are unrelated.
Question: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Daniel: Read more in order to develop a broader construct of your own writing style.
Question: Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Daniel: I suppose a little. I learned a lot about how the entire process comes together so I think I'm a lot more savvy going into the next project.
Question: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Daniel: I can't point to a specific experience off-hand. In thinking back, I realize I've always been drawn to the art of speaking/writing. I sought to learn even from those who weren't as skilled as others, and through observation developed my own style.
Question: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Daniel: The Pelican Brief by John Grisham. Not under-appreciated (I don't think) but it was during a time when I began to discipline myself to read more.
Question: How do you balance writing with life?
Daniel: I don't consider myself a writer, per se. I write as a means for some of the work that I do but it doesn't compare to this writing project. This was an anomaly.
Question: What does literary success look like to you?
Daniel: I think being able to earn a living from simply writing/speaking. When you think of it, that is a very difficult thing to achieve.
Question: What’s the most difficult thing about writing?
Daniel: Starting. Then, having the discipline to write (regularly), even though the ideas may not be free-flowing.
Question: What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Daniel: Formulating the ideas one seeks to communicate in a way that your reader can understand and relate. Art is subjective, so what may be clear to one person may be completely obscure to another.
Question: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Daniel: Absolutely! It's a real thing but can only be overcome by persistence to reach the goal.
Question: Do you have any advice for new writers, looking to publish their first book?
Daniel: Be clear on what you want to achieve. Do your research to find the right publisher. In that, don't be afraid to ask questions and get a good understanding of the philosophy of the publisher. Then, be wholly protective of your product. It's YOUR story, and no one is going to value it as much as you will.
Earlier this year, Daniel read one of my books, Write Publish Repeat. I created this book as a writer and publisher, as a way to share knowledge about how to navigate the publishing industry and help writers achieve their literary goals.
Daniel not only read the book, but he also followed some of the advice and landed a deal with Barnes & Noble to have books on the shelf! CONGRATULTIONS DANIEL!
If you believe your book is worthy of a place on the bookstore shelf, how will you prove this to the store owner? Daniel shows that landing a book deal IS possible.
To some, sharing knowledge and helping others is still seen as a competitive act. But Daniel is proof that knowledge sharing is fundamental to a cohesive social construct. When we are there for others, when we advise, or as Daniel has – share stories with our heads held high, we can lend some confidence to others. We can learn if something works from others, we understand that emotions are universal, and we can then continue to pass on knowledge to even more people.
As a publisher, I never take for granted, the gift I am given when a writer allows me to participate in their journey of publishing. Not once do I forget how personal every single word is, and how important the decision to publish is.
Thank you Daniel and indeed, to the entire Limelight family of authors, who trust Team Limelight with your incredible books. We are so proud of you all and continue to support you in any way that we can. Together with Lulu Publishing, we look forward to meeting many more authors like Daniel A. Rosemond!