As a newbie author shamelessly craving both recognition and a publisher, I gave in easy and early to the well-established herd mentality for first timers. Here’s how it goes. First, write book. Then, send countless email query letters to literary agents and publishers. Third step is the waiting game for a response. And that game sucks. I sent out approximately 40 query letters to literary agents and received only two responses. Both were in the “no” category, but I was so excited to just receive a reply that I thanked them both for their professionalism for simply responding. I augmented the query letter thing by strategically mailing copies of my work to dozens of book reviewers, publishers, newspaper columnists and the like. Reponses? None. But, on June 10, 2014, my faith in humanity was restored. On that memorable day, UPS delivered a small box to our Lighthouse Road address. In the box was a beautifully engraved SOG Trident Elite knife with my name on the blade. Along with that gorgeous piece of cutlery was a letter from Jerry Heinlen, the CEO of SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, LLC. As readers of A Silent Tide know, the SOG Trident knife plays an important role in the story. I specifically referenced this particular knife because SOG products are excellent. I own many. So I googled SOG, ID’ed the top dog and sent Mr. Heinlen a signed copy of the book along with a letter of my own. In his four paragraph reply correspondence, Mr. Heinlen acknowledged doing something that none of these other folks had ever done. He read my book. And he loved it. Thanks, Jerry.