Harvey Stelman came to HubPages with quite the portfolio of written work already under his belt, but has used his experience on the site to improve his editing skills. Not only is Stelman excited about writing more; he has published a book and is donating 15% of the book’s proceeds to the MS Society as well.
To learn more about this hubber’s inspiring story, read our interview below:
What inspired you to join HubPages?
I was writing on a couple of sites that didn’t allow readers to send comments, give opinions or allow interaction between members. I stumbled upon HubPages and felt I was in heaven. Wanting to know if others agreed, disagreed, liked or disliked my opinions or writing was what I desired. On HubPages, I found out very quickly. Whether good or bad, I appreciated the feedback.
You have work published in the physical world in addition to HubPages – could you tell us a bit more about it?
It began at my 50th birthday party. I had fifteen friends I grew up with in the Bronx, N.Y. come to Chicago, IL. Almost all had moved to other states. We talked about a magazine named “Back to the Bronx.” Many people had written in saying, “I lived near Yankee Stadium,” and described where they lived and how they could see into the Stadium from their roof. We all knew that was not possible.
We lived across the street from the Stadium, and it was impossible to see inside when the Yankees built a new scoreboard. A friend and I decided to expose these story tellers. With my friend in San Francisco and me in Chicago, we authored an article together. We titled it, “Living in the Shadows of Yankee Stadium.” It was one of the longer articles published in the magazine. I now had the writing bug.
I then partnerened with my best friend’s son to write a book. I told him a story my father had told me and he stated, “I would love to help you write that!” I had always told my father, “this should be book or a movie.” Never did I believe I would be the one to write it. Well, we wrote it! A copyright was obtained, and it sat in a drawer for many years.
The book, “EYES OF EMERALD” has now been out for three weeks. It has been sold in at least nine countries.
I have a newspaper and radio station interviews waiting. I am confident there will be many more.
How has HubPages factored into your career as a published author?
Even though the above writings were written before I started on Hub, there is still a HubPages factor involved in my book. My partner and I edited EYES OF EMERALD five times. The knowledge I have received from HubPages has helped immensely in my editing. I had always been told by my teachers that I could not write well. HubPages has improved my writing, and has given me the ability to edit. Some on the comments I’ve received on HubPages have helped my grammar. I understand I am not yet good at editing, but I am much improved.
I have also written ten movies. I am now confident I can edit them. You can imagine how full of scripts my drawer still is. After the book calms down, I will edit my (shh, sequal), and begin to market my movies.
You share in your bio on HubPages 15% of the selling price of Eyes of Emerald will be donated to the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society. What caused you to become involved with the MS cause?
That is simple for me to answer. In 1981 I was diagnossed with Multiple Sclerosis. Five years later, I was told it was CHRONIC-PROGRESSIVE MS. Doctors said I would be quadroplygic in a few years. It is 2010, and my upper body still works. Though I am in a wheelchair, I still have some movement in my legs. I exercise about three hours a day; so don’t mess with me! I can trace symptoms back to 1957 when I was eight years old, but children stay quiet on these symptoms.
My book was written to honor my father, and 15% of the sales price will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All this money will go to research. The above is my obvious reason for the donation. Anything I publish, or get produced will make the same donation. Doing all this by myself (no publisher or agent) takes its toll on a person with CHRONIC-PROGRESSIVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. Still, I shall prevail.
What advice do you have for authors on HubPages who would like to have their work published?
Don’t say to yourself, “I should write this!” Just do it; what have you got to lose? Everyone says at some time, “I should……”
I say, you shouldn’t punish yourself by letting that hang over your head. If it is not successful, what have you lost? If you succeed, you leave a legacy. Americans have a long history of doing something, I consider myself an American. If you are in another country, think the same way.