A Special Request

by Steve

Hi there —

I’d like to make a special request/ offer to the readers of Without Envy. As you know, I’ve recently published my first novel, called A Lovely, Indecent Departure.


by Steven Lee Gilbert

It is a story about a young mother who kidnaps her five year old son from his emotionally-abusive father and flees the country to her native Italy. It is, if you know me personally and/or perhaps if I’ve written this blog with enough intimacy that allows you to read between the lines, a story, first and foremost, of love, and second, of a testament to what we as parents are willing to sacrifice for our children. Attributes with which each of you out there now reading this are exceptionally quite familiar.

The book is a culmination of nearly a decade of research and writing, an endeavor of heart and talent and yes, struggle. Writing it brought me much pleasure, but the act of publishing and marketing it has opened my eyes to a part of the process I’d not ever given much thought to. For certain, self-publishing a book is an enormous, individual marketing challenge—okay, so was writing it—but it was something I sought on my own, preferring to bypass traditional publishing methods. As a result, I am caught between sharing this wonderful, exciting news to the world and talking about it so much I come off sounding like a shameless fairground carny.

Step right up! Get your good read right here!
Hey you, wanna really impress her? Try reading a book!

Trust me, that is not my intention (though it would make for an interesting character, a kind of dickensian Gary Busey).

Part of what makes it so difficult is that when I think of who the book’s audience is—unlike a carny, it can’t just be everyone—my answer will probably not surprise you: There’s me, and then there is Franca. Those two are my audience for pretty much everything I write, because there are few things better for you and more satisfying than expressing oneself clearly to oneself (and who better to tell you if your idea of expression is correct, or appropriate, than a spouse). Through expression we learn to know what we think, which brings me to you: Without Envy readers, the community.

Many of you have been with me these past twenty-plus months. You know me. You have listened to me as I’ve shared my gripes, my hopes and my worries. You understand more than most parents what it means to feel out of control and especially of the sacrifices we make everyday to keep our children safe. You get it. So, I’d like to ask for your help and in return give you a token of appreciation.

The novel is currently being distributed through whatever means books are distributed to all sorts of booksellers. Eventually, it is my hope especially that I might walk into my library even and find it. To do that requires it get noticed (this is where that audience thing works against you). Toward that goal, I would like to offer to any of you who are willing one free copy of the book in return for an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, or wherever else readers congregate. The review doesn’t have to be all positive, just honest. If you’re interested send me an email and we’ll get started with either the paperback copy or a free download from Smashwords.

Writing has always been a huge part of my life. It has felt at times, especially over the last two years, as if it were the only thing keeping me sane. Through it all, your companionship has been invaluable, your comments uplifting. As far as I’m concerned if I saw any of you walking down the runway, I’d give you the book AND the big stuffed animal. I wouldn’t even ask to guess your weight or age.