Dealership broker Craig Hallenstein saw an opportunity in the fall of 2007 when he sensed the car industry was about to take a dip. Figuring not many stores would be bought and sold for a couple of years, Hallenstein decided to write a novel.
He had long dabbled in writing. A client, Paul Tamraz, owner of Motor Werks of Barrington in Barrington, Ill., had sampled some of Hallenstein's work and encouraged him to keep at it.
It took nearly nine years, but the novel, The Dolphin, a psychological thriller published by Storyville Press, comes out Friday, April 1.
Hallenstein says he got a draft written quickly -- knocking out 1,000 words a day for 90 days (Stephen King's prescription). Then, the hard work began.
"What King failed to mention," Hallenstein said, "was the time and effort required to make a book good."
(And, of course, the buy-sell market did eventually recover.)