Toiling to Become an Author

We’ve come a long way since we decided to write a book and the road we traveled was quite bumpy.  Karin approached me with the idea around July or August 2020.  I was reluctant and this caused some friction between us. She wanted the story about NEXUS to come from an authentic voice that could convey what really happened from attracting investors to building a customer base to sustaining the business. She felt I had the most authenticity when it came to NEXUS and she wanted to get inside my head.

Though she had never written a book, she was willing to give it a try, especially since she had positive reinforcement. A good friend of ours, Dr. Ken Mask had suggested the book to Karin. He is a published author himself as well as a movie producer. Even though he moved to New Orleans years after NEXUS closed, he appreciated what NEXUS meant during the club’s heyday. He also knew that Karin and I met at NEXUS and he felt this was an interesting sub-plot. I said “yes” to the book project in the summer of 2020 and changed my mind in September of that same year. At this point, Karin had gone through our photo albums to select pictures and also had done several interviews.  So, she was seriously annoyed that I was pulling the plug.  

Why did I back out?  I had my reasons. For one thing, it goes against my nature to dwell on the past. When something ends, it’s over and I move on. In 2020, NEXUS was a distant memory, something that came to a close in 1988. Also, I didn’t want to dredge up old memories that might be uncomfortable for me or anyone else involved with NEXUS. But I hate to see my wife upset, so I gave her what she wanted. I cooperated with her as she resumed writing the book. Around October 2020, Karin reopened her manuscript file, prepared to hit her keyboard fast and furious but instead she froze. The words just wouldn’t flow.  

Fortunately, Ken came to her rescue with some simple advice. He said, “Just do a little something. Forget about crafting the story, just put some words on paper.”

And willing to confront her feelings of inadequacy, Karin typed this, “I’m staring at my computer screen poised to write a great book. So, why is nothing happening? I thought the words would jump out of my head and race down to my fingertips. But no, I’m stuck like chewing gum on the bottom of my shoe. So, now I’m disappointed and even embarrassed. I am a seasoned journalist and an accomplished public relations executive. My whole life has been about writing. But today I can’t do it.”  

Originally, the manuscript was titled “Loving NEXUS Memories” and even though Karin didn’t like that name or anything else about the book back then, she continued to struggle and never gave up.  A former journalist, she believes that too often people fail to tell their own stories, allowing precious history to become lost and forgotten or get told by others who may get it wrong. When I consider what she did, I have to brag about my wife. Her discipline. Her resilience. By December 2020, the book had a title, a cover and 18 chapters. In 2021, she navigated the business side of self-publishing in a COVID plagued environment.

Karin likes what she has produced and the book, now titled “The NEXUS Days” contains many voices that are authentic to this chapter of New Orleans history.



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