by Chris Boyle - Massapequa Observer April 14, 2015
Howard K. Pollack has based his law practice out of Massapequa for the last 12 years, and has been heavily involved within the local community. But while serving the letter of the law from his Merrick Road offices all this time, Pollack has been harboring yet another ambition: putting words to paper with the goal of becoming a published author.Pollack recently achieved that with the publication of Everywhere That Tommy Goes, his debut novel. However, the long and winding road to this esteemed end began many, many years ago.
“I was always interesting in writing…my mother was always a voracious reader, and that inspired me,” said Pollack. “I started writing short stories and poems in high school and throughout college, and about 20 years ago I wrote my first book…my first try. People said they liked it, but I never tried to get it published. It was just a learning experience to me.”
But the writing bug continued to bite at him, and afterwards Pollack wrote an adventure story for his children. Again, he didn’t attempt publication, but the reaction of his kids and the overall feeling he derived from completing it inspired Pollack to take a crack at really getting his work out there for the public to see.
“In the back of my mind, I always wanted to publish a book,” he said. “When I finished writing Everywhere That Tommy Goes, I had a lot of people read it, and they told me that it was good and that I should take it to the next step…so, I contacted a publisher through a colleague of mine, and they were interested.”
The book has catapulted Pollack into the finals of the prestigious 2014 Indie Fab Mystery Books of the Year competition, which he’s hoping to place near the top, if not win outright.
Published in April 2014, Everywhere That Tommy Goes is a fictional mystery novel set against the real-life Gilgo Beach Murder case. Starting in December 2010, a number of dead bodies were discovered discarded on Long Island’s Ocean Parkway by an unidentified serial killer, and it is within the confines of this grim backdrop that Pollack sets his tale.
“I was really inspired by the Gilgo Beach case, and there’s a running sub-plot throughout the book about it…I weaved my story throughout it,” he said. “The story involves a guy who gets involved with another guy, thinking that he’s his friend…but as the story goes on, you learn that he really may or may not be his friend, and is eventually blamed for a murder that he may or may not have committed. From there, he goes on the run from the police and has to figure out how and why he was set up before it’s too late.”
Everywhere That Tommy Goes is a self-published work, but created and polished with the assistance of a legitimate publisher; thus, the proceedings are given a far more professional sheen than your usual run-of-the-mill self-published work, Pollack said.
“The publisher introduced me to an editor, and we revised the book, making it what it is today,” he said. “The publisher works with CreateSpace, which is an Amazon company. The publisher works as an agent, they helped me design the cover and promote the book and they get a percentage.”
Pollack’s book has enjoyed a great deal of early success. In addition to a great many positive reviews—both from professional critics and readers on Amazon—the book is also available for order exclusively online in e-book reader and print format. Pollack is also entertaining the idea of a sequel to Everywhere That Tommy Goes, not to mention other possible writing projects as well.
But despite the sales, reviews and awards, the Massapequa businessman turned author said that the real thrill is just having followed his dream, put in the effort, and—most importantly—taken a chance. Holding that bound book in his hands, he said, made the several years of work and fine-tuning all worth it.
“When I finally got the actual copy from Amazon and held it in my hands and looked at the cover…it was such an amazing feeling,” said Pollack. “Even if it doesn’t go anywhere, it feels good to me that I accomplished this, and it’s something to be proud of. There’s nothing quite like being about to say, ‘I did this, and it’s pretty good.’”
a novel by Howard K. Pollack