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From two brothers reuniting to co-author a novel to a former newspaper publisher recounting her career during the turbulent ‘60s, budding authors have been finding it easier to break into print over the last decade. While it’s harder than ever to make it out of the “slush pile” in traditional publishing houses these days, a revolution in self-publishing means that with a relatively small investment, authors can share their carefully crafted words with the world at large.

Four years ago, the Beacon ran stories in our Washington and Baltimore editions about self-publishing, profiling several local authors. Look for a similar story in the March issue of our Howard County paper. We get more press releases and review copies from self-published authors than we can acknowledge, but I wanted to introduce you to a few of them that have crossed my desk in the last few months. If one piques your interest, you can order their books from Amazon.

Brothers Mike and Bernie Sweigart co-authored Two-Ticket Ride, a novel that includes a journey on an old Harley Davidson, hostile-fire combat and an inside-look at carnival life. Bernie Sweigart, a Washington, D.C. resident, is a combat veteran with a career in the Air Force and currently a diplomatic courier with the U.S. State Department.

Peter G. Pollak, of Elkridge, Md., recently released the murder mystery In the Game, his fourth novel. It is the story of Jake Barnes, a former cop who decides to pursue a man he believes has killed two women he was dating. But instead of having the authority and resources of the police department for whom he worked for 25 years, Barnes is retired as a result of health issues that cropped up only months after the death of his wife.

Sandy Spring, Md., resident Dorothy Harter wrote Mountain Editor about the four years she and her late husband owned a weekly newspaper in Kentucky, moving their family from Chicago to a rural town to follow a dream. The book incorporates Harter’s husband’s columns that confronted local politicians and racial discrimination in their new community.

Joseph Baldi Acosta of Olney, Md.,and Silver Spring’s Marionette Daniels, who goes by the pen name Aunt Nette, have both penned their first books of poetry in retirement.

And while the Beacon often doesn’t have space to print all the articles, stories and poems we receive, we do post selected works to this website in our Reader Submissions section.

So if you’ve always dreamed of having your say, there’s never been a better time to find the words.