Lunatic Cons Publisher

posted by Michelle Griep
What do Santa and Novel Rocket have in common? Author Joe Courtemanche, of course. So, how does a professional Santa who’s ex-military break into the publishing field? Read on . . .
Publishing your first novel is exciting. It’s also a ton of work. It means that you, the author, are on the hook for social media, reviews, distribution of bon mots of great wisdom, and making sure that you catch all the typos in the final addition. If you’re really engaged, it also means recording your audio book and having it ready in the short time between the galleys and the book coming off the press and out to the public.
There are joys. I went to the printer and picked up the first 550 books myself. It was a great road trip with my old friend. We laughed, marveled at the printer’s setup, and white-knuckled it back through a blizzard. But I actually saw where the book was born.
I also got to autograph my very first book for a fan. It is a huge thing emotionally. You are part of that book forever. Some fan, some customer (it is a business) has now spent their hard-earned money and thinks enough of your writing to ask you to inscribe yet another bon mot inside the cover.
I got to read my first review from someone who had never met me. Peter Younghusband said nice things about my book. And then arranged an award for me for Redemptive Fiction.  Floored? Yes. Amazed. Blessed. Thankful.
If you’re worth a hoot as an author, you’ve spent time reading other new author’s books and encouraging them. Some of them were fantastic books. I reviewed all of them that deserved four or five star reviews. I ignored others – mainly because the genre was so alien to me that I couldn’t offer an opinion of any merit.
Along the way, I collected a list of people who said they’d promote my book when the time came. Now, on the day of launch, most of them are going to post reviews on their Facebook pages as well as the big sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I haven’t asked them to be nice, nor have I suggested what they write. Only that they write. I’m rather breathless to see what they put out there.

Is it a good book? I think so. I knew I was on the right track when someone actually wrote me a fan letter. I knew I’d found my calling.
Available on AMAZON
When terrorists assault Saint Agnes Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota, they expect to find a congregation of lambs: they get Bobby Kurtz instead. An unrepentant Cold Warrior, Kurtz destroys the terror cell with violent finality. Against his will, Kurtz is pulled back into the life he left behind decades before. He reluctantly picks up the burden of hunting the terrorists in our midst. He risks his life, and his marriage, in a single-minded pursuit of victory over evil. Working with a shadowy government agency, Kurtz uses all of his skills and experience to foil a plan that would plunge the Twin Cities back into the Stone Age. The final battle rages across the plains during a Christmas Eve blizzard in a story that will leave the reader pleading for more of Kurtz and his team of experts.
Joseph Courtemanche is a former Police Officer and Middle East/North Africa analyst. He is a distinguished veteran of the Naval Security Group of the United States Navy, and an Arabic linguist with training at the University of Minnesota and the Defense Language Institute (Honors Graduate).

Joseph’s debut novel, Assault on Saint Agnes, won the American Christian Fiction Writers 2015 Genesis award for best novel in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. He has been published in Splickety magazine as well.

As a performer, he’s appeared on television in a variety of commercials, and does voice over work for both radio and television. He delights in doing his own audio books. His greatest joy is working as a professional Santa for the last fifteen years, appearing in a number of television spots as the Jolly Old Elf.
He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife and dog. Both of whom tolerate him fairly well.