Midnight Express Books released the paperback version of UNDER PRESSURE by Mr. D, in January 2013 before releasing the eBook a week later. A month afterwards, I let a prison guard read an excerpt from the eBook that someone had printed and mailed in to me. The excerpt came from a scene I wrote about my main protagonist, Stan Mason, who was involved in a prison riot. A Special Operations Response Team (SORT) member stopped his participation with 50,000-volts from a stun gun (TASER).
The guard said, “Oh, that isn’t correct. The Bureau doesn’t have TASERs.” He read on and then said, “This isn’t right either. SORT wouldn’t have responded to a situation like that. DCT would have.”
“What is DCT?”
“DCT is our Disturbance Control Team and is usually the first to arrive when something breaks out.”
I do not like to be inaccurate, even if writing fiction.
Before I sent UNDER PRESSURE to the publisher, a friend named Wayne G. had proofread my manuscript. He has a Master degree in Psychology. He strongly urged me to send copies of my novel to Criminology departments at universities all across the United States, because it depicts real life inside of some of the more serious American prisons and the events leading to prison.
“They made us read several books in class that were no where near as good as this one,” he said. “I’m telling you, man, they’ll jump right on it and make it required reading if you get it in the right hands. If they do that then you will sell 30-35 copies for every class, and if it catches on at one school, then others will follow.”
I liked that idea. Then I envisioned an English professor holding up a copy of my attractive book before his or her students in a Creative Writing class to inspire them. I liked that idea, too. After all, if a prisoner can write a book and have it published, then what can a free citizen do who has more tools and resources available to them than what the prisoner had? Thus sprang the idea for UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D, because if I were an aspiring student, the story behind the novel would inspire me.
I wrote “The Story Behind the Novel” to tell the process I used to get the book in print; then wrote the “Author’s Note” to explain the inaccuracies as reported by the prison guard; cleaned up every error I could find, and then sent it to the publisher with suggested formatting changes to make it more attractive and easier to read.
Midnight Express Books released the motivational version in July 2013. Now that my words are etched in history, less than two years after I had written about the TASERs in my novel, the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons started training staff to use TASERs in all of their high security facilities.
I must be a visionary, huh? Now I need to continue envisioning my novel in the hands of those professors. I sent a few copies of my books (UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D. and ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN by Wayne T. Dowdy) to magazine editors and a couple of colleges, but I am unaware if any of them have decided to use them. Please share my idea with any professor or school of thought that may be interested in using a well-written book to inspire their students. Then again, tell anyone about them who wants to read good books guaranteed to entertain them. Thanks!
Paperbacks and eBooks are available from most major book retailers and eBook distributors. Several essays available as eBooks, some as free downloads from my Smashwords Author’s page (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy), which may be downloaded in any format for eReaders or in html or pdf formats for reading on a PC.