Monday, December 3, 2012

N.J. journalist-author publishes first book about Hurricane Sandy-Pledges all royalties to storm-relief fund

Tapping into the creative potential of modern self-publishing — and determined to help fellow victims of Hurricane Sandy — longtime New Jersey journalist William Westhoven has published the first book to document the arrival of the historic storm and the dramatic initial recovery period that followed.

Written and published just 30 days after Hurricane Sandy touched New Jersey soil, “Superstorm Sandy: A Diary in the Dark,” is now available at as a 99-cent eBook. The 109-page paperback version is $7.99.

The author has pledged to donate all paid royalties to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Combining real-life drama, personal observations, social-media interaction, fact-based reporting and plenty of “you have to laugh or you’ll cry” humor,“Superstorm Sandy: A Diary in the Dark” is the author’s first-person perspective of the storm and dealing with the loss of power and heat in his Parsippany, N.J., home for 12 days.

Regaining his power on Friday, Nov. 9, Westhoven began working on the book three days later. The final results were remarkably published on Nov. 28, only 16 days after he committed to this most timely document.

“The fact that authors can now publish within 24 to 48 hours of submitting their files has opened the publishing industry to some incredible new possibilities,” Westhoven said. “Whenever a tragedy like Sandy leaves victims in its wake, we can rely on musicians to write new songs and offer benefit concerts. We know that theater groups will stage benefit performances. The advances in modern self-publishing and Print on Demand now make it possible for authors like myself to make a timely contribution as well. That’s what I’m trying to do here. I’m trying to break new ground and help out New Jersey while I’m at it.”

A former mobile disc jockey, voiceover artist and Crazy Eddie store manager, William Westhoven was a full-time journalist from 1989 to 2011, when he fell victim to newspaper industry-wide layoffs.

Since then, he has branched out to fiction, writing and publishing two complete novels. “One-Hit Willie,” a historical novel that covers 50 years of music in America, was released in December of 2011. “The Puddingstone Well,” a contemporary mystery-fantasy, was released on Oct. 26, three days before Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore.

During his newspaper career, Westhoven earned several national and state awards for writing, editing and page design. His theater column, Morris Stage, ran for nine years in the Daily Record and, as a performing-arts critic, he earned seven first-place awards for Critical Writing from the New Jersey Press Association.

Westhoven’s first book, “Eric Clapton: Career of a Rock Legend,” was published in 1996. In between his book projects, he continues to work as a freelance journalist, with recent work appearing in several newspapers and Patch sites, the Huffington Post and Guitar World Online.

A “Superstorm Sandy: A Diary in the Dark” page has been created on Facebook.

The Kindle eBook sale page is at

The Print Edition sale Page is at

For additional information, visit the author’s book website at

For additional materials or to request an interview, call 973-997-8449 or email

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