Brian Rowe, NV

Senior Writer

Brian Rowe is a novelist, editor, and freelance writer. He received his MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English-Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has written twenty novels, dozens of short stories, and five feature-length screenplays. He is currently a Top Writer on Medium.com, where he has published more than 1,500 essays and articles since 2018. When he’s not writing, Brian enjoys going to the movies, eating pumpkin ice cream year-round, and playing with his two goldendoodles, Bentley and Charlie.

As a Story Terrace writer, Brian interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

The Best Birthday Present

I recently wanted to do something special for my grandmother Barbara’s eightieth birthday, and I came up with the perfect idea.

Barbara’s father Weldon had a life-long ambition to write a novel, and in the 1970s he got to work on his book, A Dangerous Road, about a love affair. He finished the book in 1980 and spent the rest of his life trying to get it published. He even followed Merv Griffin into a men’s room and asked him while peeing if he could help him get his book published. The man tried everything, but alas, when Weldon passed away in the summer of 1998, his one and only novel remained an unpublished manuscript.

Decades later I asked around to see where the book had ended up, and I discovered that Weldon’s novel was stored in a closet at my uncle and aunt’s house across town. I asked to borrow it, and I was stunned at what I saw when I got the chance to look through it. 360 pages in length, the manuscript was a mess. Pages were falling out, and much of the typeface was difficult to read.I knew I had to do something with this book, and the timing was perfect, considering my grandmother’s birthday was coming up at the end of August.

So I began typing my deceased great-grandfather’s novel word by word. I managed about eight pages a day, and it ended up taking me more than three months to transcribe the entire novel to my own Microsoft Word document. By early August I had Weldon’s entire book saved to my hard-drive, and I set out to create the cover and interior file for a physical book version I could self-publish to Amazon.

On my grandmother’s eightieth birthday we went to our family cabin to celebrate. And after dinner she opened my gift, confused as to what it could be. When she peered closely at the cover and I said, “I published your dad’s book,” she brought her hand to her mouth and started to cry. I gave her a hug and enjoyed a rare, tender moment with my grandmother. She was stunned by the gift and was excited to share it with her sister, who lives in California.

My grandmother couldn’t believe that someone had fulfilled her father’s wish after all that time. Decades after his death, I had finally allowed Weldon’s novel to see the light of day.

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