I began sporadic research in mid-2005, and got down to serious research at the start of 2006, working half-time while earning a living practicing law. The first mid-course correction occurred in the middle of 2007, when I discovered that one did not simply sit down, write a book, and expect a publisher to sell it. It is first necessary to build a “platform” by publishing magazine articles, developing a following for a blog, etc. So, I started doing all that, which slowed progress on the underlying book.
The second, more major mid-course correction occurred at the end of 2008, when I made a radical change in the nature of the book. I had been writing a general history of the scandals of organized religion; it was turning out to be extremely long, and a little dreary. One night, literally at 3:00 am while ¾ asleep, I began thinking about the blog entry I needed to write the next day, which was going to be about Han Yu (see chapter 3 in the Outline). I thought it might be nice to mention him in sort of a “Hall of Fame” page of heroes at the end of the book. Then I thought it might be necessary to write a short paragraph to remind readers what each of the heroes had done. Then I thought “Wait a minute – that’s the book!” By 3:15 I had given up all hope of getting back to sleep.
The first draft of the manuscript was completed in the fall of 2011, and is now being edited. Damned Good Company will then be published as an ebook, with all the bells and whistles of the ebook format, sometime in the middle of 2012. Until then, you can get a weekly fix (free) by reading the blog.