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James Michael Pratt

Dear Mr. Pratt,

 

We have the habit of finding good authors and reading everything they write. You have joined a special club at our house with your novels. Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, and John Grisham are three of the modern-day writers in this category.

 

My wife hopes you are working on book #4 and that it is not too long in coming. Keep up the good work! — Gerald Bolen, Oklahoma

The final verse of Robert Frost's "A Road Less Traveled" goes like this:

 

"I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference."

 

Those kind words quoted at the top of this page from Mr. Bolen of Oklahoma -- and those from many other readers -- meant a lot to me during great days when I was trying to figure out my road.  I was stringing together one novel after another in the late 90's and early 2,000’s but... 

 

I was just Jim, a guy-next-door, who had survived two life-saving surgeries in the 24 months before becoming published in 1997 when The Last Valentine took over my life. 

Becoming a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, along with having The Last Valentine become a HALLMARK HALL of FAME World Premier and CBS Movie of the Week viewed by 14.5 million, was a privilege of a lifetime.  Hard-earned, it took 11 years from the first script to the actual movie.  Grateful, I never could have imagined this honor. 

I feel privileged to hear from readers from all over the world. Readers and their experience with the words I pen are always at the forefront of my mind.  Even today after having been out of active publishing for some time I continue to hear from kind book fans finding past works.  Many are seeking my next book.

After 7 published bestsellers, what probably appears a disappearing act by me for more than a decade, was in reality, something else.  I'd like to share that history briefly in hopes it may encourage others who strive in creative careers and life in general. In adversity we often find answers to our life story that others could never write; and paths, while difficult, we may have never chosen to take. 

 

Sometimes publishers come and go; just as authors, actors, and other artists seem to disappear from public view for a time.  And, sometimes life's vicissitudes interrupt the best of plans.   

So, what happened to Author James Michael Pratt for over one decade?   

Perhaps I took Robert Frost a bit too seriously, but then...

A choice to be a simple neighbor and silent writer--just Jim, a guy next door--was made. 

BACKSTORY:   

Every life has a story being written day by day, influenced by a “backstory” that few seldom see. We see the surface of things in people as we pass them by, but rarely the deep underneath where life happens and paths diverge from others more traveled.  

I no longer feel the need to hide some truths which made my story what it is; though now revealed through the ink of vulnerability and normal human weakness. I choose to be transparent in hopes to give some readers the courage to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and take a road less traveled as they trip through life.

Bliss is a mirage. Uninterrupted success is, in reality, less a sprint and more a long-distance run with hurdles. 

And from boyhood through adult life, it was as Forrest Gump said, "...if I was going somewhere, I was running!"  

I loved playing Superman as a boy. Heroics were played out physically. There was no such thing as video games or "virtual" heroics. You pretended to fly -- jumping off a roof with one of Mom's towels draped around your neck -- physically hit back, tackled, dove, climbed, fell, ran... 

The LA Rams were my heroes from the time I got an imitation game helmet at 7 years old. By 1968 High School Football was like a magnet to iron.  I was willing to run through 11 adversaries on the opposing side using my head as a battering ram to get through 3,000 pounds of combined muscle as long as a chance of breaking loose to the end zone existed. 

"Pratt, get back up! You just had your bell rung is all," I recall hearing during those years of seeing stars I never knew existed...

The only compensation for what I now recognize became traumatic brain concussion injuries is how fun it was breaking through tackles; how challenging it was being considered tough enough to take the pain being dealtMust be testosterone, because otherwise, such an attitude doesn't make any sense.

While the camaraderie of players and fellow fighters with memories of all the good times lasts a lifetime... so does the pain. 

It was May 1997 and I was continuing a fight which began in 1971; a neck, head, and true "back" story which would add 18 titanium screws, plates, and rods, in answer to torture undiagnosed. 

 

I was bleeding to death, and... 

 

For the 'Rest of the Story,' as Paul Harvey would say, please click "AUDIO"

TODAY

I hope you enjoyed that audio piece by reaching through the thin veil of memory with me to places that time alone possesses.   

 

Having lived a long life at this point, I find it cathartic to share personal history; wishing for it to be useful to others as they examine their own past.

Feeling better than I have in 5 decades of adult life, I am eager to share years’ worth of my best storytelling with you.

I produced many works during those quiet years from 2005 to the present day. They are deeply heartfelt and now becoming delivered to you over the next several months and years beginning today with “Free Reads” and “Sneak Peeks” found in my private “Once Upon a Time BookClub."

For more in-depth about my author life and the writing themes of all my past books – revised for re-release with the newest works becoming delivered to the public in eBook and print – please visit my author page at Amazon.com by clicking this link: Visit Amazon's James Michael Pratt Page.

 

Healthy, eager, and grateful to have you here at my 2021 launched website, I am looking forward to making great book reading memories together over many coming years!

James Michael Pratt

Aka “Jim”

PS:  If you enjoyed the Audio History found on this page, be sure to check out my Blog and Podcast at STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART

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© 2021 by James Michael Pratt