LOCAL NOVELIST: Chris Metcalf shows off his first novel, The Perfect Candidate, an action/thriller that the Jenks resident recently published through his company, Tree Tunnel Publishing.
Publishing a first novel requires time, patience, dedication and entrepreneurship. Chris Metcalf, a Tulsa-area author, has just published his first novel, an action/thriller titled The Perfect Candidate.
The novel tells the story of Lance Priest, a unique young man who happens to be a talented liar, human chameleon and maybe, just maybe, the perfect candidate – the perfect spy.
Metcalf started work on the novel in 2008 and completed an initial draft in 2010. He tried the traditional publishing route for over a year.
He heard from many that his idea was very interesting and provocative, but fiction, especially fiction by new authors, is difficult to get published today. So Metcalf did the next best thing – he self-published the book.
“I followed the advice of industry experts and the direction of Phil Bruns, another local self-published author, and established my own publishing company, built a couple of websites, purchased numbers, designed the book cover and uploaded the contents to Amazon Kindle and other book websites,” he says. “It is an amazing process and almost entirely tied to the Internet.”
His publishing company, Tree Tunnel Publishing, got its name from a spot in the road along Main Street in Jenks that was cleared away this past year to make way for widening the road to four lanes. “That little spot was kind of magical in that my children would shout out “tree tunnel” as we drove through when they were young. The tree branches reached out and touched each other and created a canopy overhead. It’s gone now, but lives on in the name of the company,” Metcalf says.
He checks his book sales every day and spends evenings and weekends doing book promotion instead of writing for now. “The second book in the Lance Priest series is written and I plan to publish it before the end of the year. The process should be a lot easier the second time around.” He also has a short Christmas novel he plans to publish before the holidays.
He and his wife Diana have five children and spend a good deal of their time involved with Girl Scouts, Jenks High School Band, soccer and basketball.
“I am definitely lucky to have a supportive wife and family who have been willing to let me put on the headphones and write a book for a couple of years and then spend this past year getting it published,” Metcalf adds.