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The Sirens of Suspense




David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. SOUTHERN HEAT is his first mystery and the sequel, BURNING HEAT, debuted in January. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina home.


Find David on Twitter and Facebook.


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I believe in second chances. If at first I don’t succeed, I like that I can try again. Otherwise, what’s the use? What’s the motivation to keep going? We can take the lump and turn around and go home. Or we can get back on the horse and go for another ride.

Thankfully, we live in the good old United States of America, where anyone with a little faith and a whole lot of grit has the chance to make it, whatever “it” is to them. Most successful people I know have failed miserably in their lives. And some more than once, or twice, or five times. Patton has been credited with the quote, “It’s not how far you drop but how high you bounce,” or something along those lines. I like that. Failure is the springboard for something greater, higher. As long as we view it that way, and keep viewing it that way.

And failure has many faces and comes in many forms. I’m no stranger to it. I’ve said the wrong thing, offended the wrong person, and been just plain stupid, and most of it was my own fault. But sometimes it wasn’t. I’ve had a job vanish, lost a chunk of money, and dated the wrong girl. And had to start over many times.

I could have stuck my head in the sand, and I really wanted to more than once. But in the end, I chose not to.

Another good example of failure through no fault of my own happened recently. But first, the setup: Three years ago, I got a contract for my first book. I was elated. It had taken six long years of writing, of trial and error, and a whole lot of rejection, and “all of a sudden” I’ve got a publisher who wanted to acquire something I’d written. It was validation of the long hours in front of the keyboard staring at the frustrating blinking cursor, objectively listening to the slice and dice jobs of my work by my beloved SCWW critique group who kept me honest, and the financial sacrifice my wife and I have made for this dream. And it felt good to be published—so good, that I didn’t want it to end.

So I wrote a second book, and the publisher wanted it, too. The feeling of elation was renewed. Now I had not one, but two books with my name on them. What could be better?

How about a third book?

About the time I submitted my third manuscript to them, my publisher decided it was better for them if they shut down their entire mystery line. And just like that—POOF!—I was out of business. No clear future path for my work. Someone pulled the rug out from under me and I fell on my backside. One of what the industry had begun referring to as orphans—published authors with no publishing homes—because it affected quite a few people over more than one publishing house. I had no one to print that third manuscript I’d submitted.

Talk about agony.

Do I hang it up? Put the keyboard away? Or do I go out and try again?

This is where the second chance comes in, fellow readers and writers. We’ve all heard the line, “Never waste an opportunity.” Well, I am a firm believer in it. My story has a happy turn of events. I’ll spoil the climax by saying that I have a new home, a new publisher that wants to publish my work. And I couldn’t be happier!

Why is it that I am not just glad, but even more ecstatic than getting the contract for the first book? Because the new publisher wasn’t a stranger. I’d already met them along the journey, sat with them at author panels, dined with them between events, and played crazy board games with them after hours over conference weekends. They had taken me in as part of their family, even though I wasn’t signed with them at the time.

I am so happy to announce that, as of this month, my new publisher for a new lowcountry series coming out in 2017 is Henery. And it has been a long time coming for me! So, I thank God for second chances! And I thank you, Henery. Thanks for giving me my second chance.



DID YOU GET A SECOND CHANCE? TELL US or leave a comment on the blog below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of BURNING HEAT! (US entrants only, please.)



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