About Author

Jeff Pollak

Jeff Pollak
BIOGRAPHY

I retired from trial litigation in 2018. Over the previous three years I'd spent the little time I had writing First Second Coming, my debut novel and the first of a planned series.

On August 1st, 2020, First Second Coming was published. Three months later Literary Titan magazine bestowed a "Gold Award" to my novel, for writing excellence.

In April, First Second Coming was nominated as a candidate to win the 2021 RONE Award in fantasy. In the same month, the novel was also featured on the CBS Morning News.

I guess I should've started writing fiction sooner, but that's life. Writing through retirement is a true joy.

Jeff Pollak's Books

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Book
First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1)
(1) $2.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1)by Jeff PollakPublish: Aug 01, 2020Series: The New God SeriesSupernatural Suspense Romantic Suspense

Jeff Pollak's Series in Order

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  • The New God Series

    1 First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1) - Published on Aug, 2020

Jeff Pollak's Awards and Achievements

    Jeff Pollak has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • 2021 RONE Award nominee for fantasy genre
    2021

    First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1)

    achievement
  • Crowned Heart of Excellence
    2021

    First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1)

    achievement
  • Literary Titan Magazine Gold Award
    2020

    First Second Coming (The New God Series, Book 1)

    award

Jeff Pollak interview On 16, Oct 2020

"Retired attorney, published author and a funny guy, Jeff Pollak has been a fiction reader all his life. His storylines are unique and interesting. Before retiring, and being an avid reader, the idea of writing fiction came to mind and was immediately recognized as the right thing for Jeff to do."
Raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, what did you learn from being raised by a single mom?

Self-reliance and self-motivation were two of the things I learned growing up without a father – mine passed away when I was three. I taught myself to swim and excel at sports, especially baseball. Learning by being observant became a habit. Self-motivation was inspired by the example of my mother, a high school graduate, who chose to go to college and earn a teaching credential while raising my younger brother and me so that we could be more financially secure. I later used that experience to attend law school at night while working full-time during the day.

What is a relaxing place to visit in Southern California?

Beaches stretch from San Diego to Santa Barbara, so take your pick. But if you’re not in the mood for sand and surf, try the botanical gardens. Desconso Gardens in La Canada, the Huntington Library’s Gardens in San Marino or the L.A. Arboretum in Pasadena are just some of choices in that category. Another option, the Missions in San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel, San Fernando or Santa Barbara, puts the Spanish influence on California’s history on display. Hiking paths also abound through the San Gabriel and Verdugo mountains – Eaton Canyon in particular, if you’d like to relax and get your exercise in, too.

What is the most valuable thing you learned in law school?

I learned to think in a disciplined, analytical and objective way. Spot the legal issues, gather the evidence, consider the applicable case law and/or statutes. Reach the appropriate conclusions and devise your client’s case strategy from there. That progression also works for life in general.

How was The New God Series started?

The idea that we need a planetary turnaround specialist as our new god came to me while I watched the World Trade Center towers collapse on 9/11. I disregarded the thought at the time, but in 2015, as I sat at my computer facing a blank screen while waiting for inspiration to strike, it returned. A plot, the names and backgrounds of my two main characters and three possible endings spilled out. I feverishly typed all that up in a few hours. From there I had the genesis of my novel. I firmly believe the story chose me to write it, rather than the other way around.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your legal career?

How to write novels, of course! Actually, I wish I’d already learned everything I needed to know to pass the California State Bar Exam. I would’ve saved a lot of tuition costs and could’ve devoted all the time I spent reading legal textbooks on something more enjoyable, or at least more exciting – like fiction books.

What developed your passion for writing fiction?

I’ve been a fiction reader all my life. I think it began with the Hardy Boys series. Once I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a teenager, there was no looking back. I was addicted to fiction. Retirement to me meant a ton of extra time to read . . . but also to write.

What challenges did you face while writing your debut novel, First Second Coming?

Really, the only challenge was finding time to write the book. My law practice was the priority until I retired in 2018. At times, usually during trials, writing even a single sentence of the story wasn’t possible. Other than that, writing the novel had no significant challenges at all. To the contrary, everything seemed to conspire to help me. Fairly early on, I started to hear the voice of my female lead character, Brendali Santamaria, in my head. She’d wake me up at 4 a.m. to narrate the next chapter, which I let her do even when my outline differed from her narration. And so many beyond belief coincidences occurred that I’m still amazed by them today.

What did it feel like to watch the World Trade Center fall on 9/11?

To an extent I probably had the same mix of shock, anger and revulsion that everyone else did. But I’d been in that building many times, as close in time to 9/11 as May of 2001. I had clients in the building and my law firm put on annual seminars each spring for clients in the NY/NJ area. I’d gotten to know some of the staff members at the conference center on the WTC’s top floor. I worried for those I knew, some of whom didn’t survive, and those I didn’t know.

What sort of cultural, spiritual, or social value do you think reading and books hold?

When we read we connect with, or are at least intrigued by, the book’s characters. We want them to win the girl or the guy, to grow, to survive, etc. We relate to them to such an extent that these characters are no longer fictional to us. This exercise in empathy, by sharing our experiences and learning from theirs, is invaluable. Each book we read isn’t only an adventure, it’s a learning tool and a way to broaden our perspective.

How important do you think book covers are? Who usually designs your book covers?

Book covers are extremely important. Marketers put a lot of time, money and effort into enticing a buyer through an attractive package. Book covers do the same job, if they’re good enough. Whenever a potential reader encounters a book, the cover must stand out. If it doesn’t, the reader won’t give it any attention or gain any motivation to buy the book. As to the second part of your question, I only have one book published at this point. I collaborated with my publisher and its designer to create the cover, and fortunately it has done the job.

What are the best ways to promote your debut novel?

In this pandemic era the tried and true methods are no longer available - launch parties, book readings and book signings can’t be done. I’ve turned to radio and podcast appearances. It’s hard to track or quantify the sales, but word gets out to the world and, unlike readings, the interviews are taped, uploaded to the host’s website and made available for a prolonged period. I post them to my website, too. Book tours have become more important, as have giveaways and reviewer freebies made available on various websites that seek to connect readers to authors, such as BookBub, ProlificWorks or StoryOrigin. One can also advertise, whether on Amazon or elsewhere, but learn the ropes first.

What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

Learn to manage the stress struggling brings on. One way to do that is to think of writing like baseball, a game that teaches players to handle failure. If your batting average is .300 – meaning you get a hit in only three out of every ten at-bats – you’re considered an exceptional hitter despite having failed in seven attempts. If you can succeed in your books at the same rate, bringing three of ten to fruition, you’ve done well. So don’t beat yourself up. Manage your expectations. No one said writing a novel is easy, don’t expect it to be for you.

What are you currently working on? May we know when we can expect the next book in The New God Series?

I’m working on two books, more or less concurrently. One is the sequel to First Second Coming, with Earth’s Peril as the working title. The other’s a spin-off, in that Earth’s new God is a character there, too, but the story’s otherwise unrelated. That one has the working title of The Recycling Center. These titles may change by the time the stories are published. As for when that will be, your guess is as good as mine. If anyone reading this wants to keep track of the progress of either book, go to my webpage (jeffpollak.com) and sign up for my monthly newsletter. I keep people updated, and once the book’s closer to final than it is now, I’ll provide a few early excerpts through the newsletter.

How did you first come across AllAuthor and what made you join? What are your thoughts on the website so far?

A member of my monthly critique group has been with AllAuthor for a while and recommended it to me. I didn’t immediately check into it, but once First Second Coming was ready for release I did. I was impressed by the utility tools, AllAuthor’s promotional efforts and the opportunity to expand my circle of author friends.

Ask Jeff Pollak a Question

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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • Once I decided to try my hand at writing fiction, I had to change my writing style. The dry, professional style suitable to litigators doesn't work in novels. Developing a more dramatic, emotional style necessary to genre writing took a while, especially during the period I was still doing trials and writing fiction at night or on weekends. But I managed it.
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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • Now that I'm retired the schedule is pretty much the same day to day. I'm up at 5:30, spend about two hours writing, then I break for a shower, doing my daily floor exercises and any little thing that needs to be done in the house. By 9:30 I'm back for another two hour session. At 11:30 I take a half-hour break for lunch, and again, another two hour session ensues. What happens after 2 p.m. varies, other than that I take a one hour hike in the nearby hills and park. I do usually get more writing or editing in within that period, ending at 7 p.m.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 1 year ago
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    • When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • Not at all, as best I can remember. It was only when I began to look forward to retirement that I needed something to fill my days, other than playing golf, that the idea of writing fiction arose. It's worked out well, I'm enjoying it tremendously and wish I'd begun sooner.
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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • For me, I think the hardest part is getting descriptive passages into a book. A description of a room, for example, or what a character's doing by way of non-verbal communication or fiddling with the things around him or her. Again, I think that stems from decades of writing as a litigation attorney, where all these sorts of things are extraneous. I haven't yet been as successful with this transition as I was with altering my style, but I am working on it.
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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • Reading reviews of my debut book is a brand new experience, since it just came out. As of my writing this I only have fourteen reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, and they're all good ones. I do read them to get the reviewers insights, some of which are surprising, others insightful. I do see trends where the same observation is made by different reviewers, which tells me that I got a point across or successfully conveyed a theme. I'm sure bad reviews will happen, and when they do I'll review them objectively to learn what I can from them, just as I'm doing with the good reviews. I want to treat every review as a learning experience.
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      • Jeff Pollak Jeff Pollak 1 year ago
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      • I began writing in 2015, before retirement, because the concept of First Second Coming came to me along with a basic plot, the lead characters and their histories. But the seed of the story came to me as 9/11 occurred. I'd been in the World Trade Center to visit clients often, and my law firm did annual conferences there for clients in the New York/New Jersey area every May. So I knew people in the building, some of whom didn't survive. A random thought, that our world needed a new god who's a planetary turnaround specialist, came to me. It thought it went away, as most random thoughts do. However, once I'd decided to write fiction, the story spilled out of my subconscious and I was on my way, inspired by a tragedy and a random thought it brought about.
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