During the next few years, roughly ’07-’10, Trout Kill slowly evolved toward its final shape. I joined a Dangerous Writer’s group taught by Joanna Rose and Stevan Allred and they gave me valuable feedback. I completed that draft of the book, about number four, or so. Later, thinking I’d completed Trout Kill at last, I started writing the second novel of the Trout Trilogy, Trout Run. I formed my own writer’s group and wrote about a hundred pages of it. Then, in the summer of 2010 I pitched Trout Kill to an agent at the Willamette Writer’s Conference. He said he’d like to see the entire book. I sent it to him; he read it and suggested major changes. Over the next few months I revised the book and then sent it back to him. I never heard from him again. To say the least, it pissed me off. It wasn’t the first time I’d been burned by a publisher, agent or an editor. I thought, “To hell with him.” That painful experience put me on the road to self-publication.
(Part VIII later)