For Sun-Gazette business reporter Mike Reuther, writing is not only his day job, but it also is what he enjoys doing outside of his regular workday.
His third book, "Write the Darn Book," was released March 1 on Smashwords Publishing, an online indie e-book distributor. It provides tips to those who are interested in writing a book themselves, but just don't know how to begin.
The 98-page book is the result of many years of Reuther trying to get published himself, he said. He provides the reader with examples of his own experiences and mistakes to avoid, while writing and trying to get published.
"I wanted to share with other writers some of my frustrations and experiences as an author," Reuther said. "Above all, I wanted readers to know that writing a book is not that hard, that it can be fun and easy if one just sits down and writes fast."
Reuther said writing from the heart, rather from the brain, is the key.
He said that anyone can write a book, or at least produce a first draft of a book, in a shorter amount of time than they may think. "Write the Darn Book" can help readers learn how to do this and will provide encouragement to take the first steps toward their book-writing goal.
"I think anyone who employs this fast writing method can finish a book in no time at all," Reuther said. "It just takes a small leap of faith, sitting down and letting the words fly."
Reuther explains in the book that so many people who have dreamed of becoming an author have not put pen to paper mainly because they believe it to be too difficult, thus, setting themselves up for failure. "Write the Darn Book" assures the reader that it does not have to be that way. It also covers literary agents and the publishing world.
Reuther is an avid reader and said he became a writer because he was a reader first.
Fascinated by American literature since he was a junior in high school, Reuther spent a lot of time reading books by John Steinbeck, J.D. Salinger, James T. Farrell, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe.
He joined the Air Force, which put a hold on his formal schooling, but not on his reading.
"All that reading opened up worlds to me, and eventually I got to the point where I wanted to express myself as well," Reuther said. "Eventually, I went back to school, studied journalism and got my degree, but the pull of writing fiction stayed with me."
At age 30, working as a newspaper reporter, Reuther launched his first novel, but had trouble trying to get it published.
"The publishing world, I soon learned, was an impenetrable one of which only a few talented, lucky and famous scribblers gained access," he said. "But still, I kept plugging away, hoping that I could find a literary agent that would take on one of my projects and find me a publisher."
In the world that we now live in, where everything is done through the Internet, publishing has become a different story. E-publilshing and print-on-demand make it much easier for authors to get published, Reuther said.
Both of his previous books, "Return to Dead City," a baseball mystery, and "Nothing Down," a baseball fiction novel, were published as e-books.
Reuther has several other drafts on his hands, at least one mystery and a mainstream novel, that he said he needs to pull out of drawers and finish.
So, you can be sure there is more to come from Reuther in the future.
"Write the Darn Book" is available through Smashwords as an e-book, and on Amazon.com as a paperback. Readers can download the book and learn more about Reuther at his website, www.smashwords.com/profile/view/football62.