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Design Morality, my novel about a young architect and his trials and tribulations of the design process and what it can take to make a great work of architecture, is now published. You can buy the book in either paperback or as an eBook:

Design Morality paperback

Design Morality eBook for Kindle

Design Morality eBook for Nook

Design Morality eBook is available for iBooks - search "Design Morality" in iTunes

Design Morality eBook for Kobo eReader

Looking back, I can remember I wanted to be an architect since I was about 8 years old. Neither of my parents were in the field, but my grandfather was a draftsman in the Army in WWII, and I remember every time we visited my grandparents' house in La Grange Park, Illinois, I saw his sketches and writing and loved how neat and clean everything was.

In high school I took drafting classes and in my senior year worked afternoons in a small architecture firm. I applied to college and decided on Kent State University majoring in Architecture.

After four years at Kent State, which included a half-semester of study in Florence, Italy, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture with a minor in Business Administration. Most of my classmates continued on into a 5th year of study at KSU, but I left in order to work for a couple of years before continuing my education - which I think was the best choice for me at the time.

I ended up completing my Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Miami. It took me about a year and a half to complete my degree as I was working full-time at Spillis Candela in Coral Gables at the same time. Upon graduation I interviewed at Arquitectonica and ended up working there for about a year and a half.

After a couple of years of independent consulting, I did some travelling and wound up working for about two years on a large hotel development project on the island of Guam. It was a great experience, not only in terms of gaining more responsibility on architectural projects (especially construction administration), but also learning about more cultures as well as becoming a scuba master diver.

I moved to Boston in the early 90's and worked at firms such as Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, The Stubbins Associates and Payette. I've been fortunate to be involved in many projects that have won design awards and been published in architectural journals, and have met some great architects along the way.

Images of a sampling of the projects I worked on can be found on my Portfolio page.

Throughout my years practicing architecture, I have always been writing, from design proposals and architectural feasibility studies at work, to articles on Entablature and now, my book, Design Morality.


Yay! Design Morality is now published! I'm going to put the direct links on both the kpett.com home page (to the left) and on the Writing page. These will provide direct links to where everyone can either buy a paperback or e-reader download of the book, available as a paperback from Amazon or as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, iBooks, or the Kobo eReader. If anyone wants to give me feedback or ask any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at kpett@hotmail.com - I hope everyone enjoys the book!

Getting Closer

I'm getting closer to publication of Design Morality. I've re-read the entire book, found a few little things to tweak here and there, and am now ready to re-upoad the document for publication! I'm excited about finally getting to share these characters and story with the reading public.

Book Proof

I received my book proof today - wow! After all of the years nursing Design Morality, it is now a real book I am holding in my hands. It's hard to put all of my feelings into words ... so I guess I'll just press on to complete my final reviews of the book so it can get published.

Cover Art

The Design Morality cover art is done! I played around with a number of napkin sketches ... from small buildings to something a little more grand, finally settling on a sketch that was more vertical in nature (as a book is taller than it is wide). I then scanned the sketch with settings that would allow the pen bleeds to still look good, along with the texture of the napkin.

The trick then was to make the entire cover look like a "napkin" as I wanted the texture to be continuous, not only for the sketch but also to fold over the spine and back cover of the book. So, in Photoshop, I ended up having to mask the line work of the sketch and create a background that looked like a napkin ... so actually scanning the sketch so the napkin pattern was captured ended up not really working, but I was able to achieve the same effect in Photoshop any way.

I then experimented with different fonts. I wanted something bold so that it would stand out and finally decided on what you see. I think it turned out very well and am pleased with the results. I know there are a lot of writers out there who pay for "professional" looking graphics or cover art, but I think I've captured something that would look good on any bookshelf.

Final Draft

I've spent the last week re-reading Design Morality, this time from a more technical point of view - checking punctuation and word useage. Its a tedious job and I feel like I'm not enjoying the writing process so much ... but its a necessary part of any writing endeavor.

Picking It Up Again

I'm finally getting around to giving Design Morality a final push in order to get it published. Years in the making with many, many breaks, I'm now determined more than ever to make it into a real book. Will anybody actually be interested in reading it? Will anyone outside of the architecture profession "get" the story and what its about? These are questions that maybe only time will tell, but from those who have read drafts and offered suggestions, the book could have a wide market ...

Book Publishers and Agents

What to do with Design Morality? Well, after the novel was written, revised, and rewritten a few dozen times, I finally felt it was ready for the public. But as is so well-documented by writers everywhere, the chances of having a first novel published is nearly impossible. So I studied the business, learning about book editors and agents, and asked (and received) a lot of advice, and finally proceeded to send out query letters to book publishers. Below is a sample of some of the responses I received over a six-month period:

“. . . we do not feel we could publish your book successfully for you . . . “

“ . . . it sounds like you have some interesting ideas but, unfortunately, this is not what we are looking for right now . . .”

“. . .we do not read or accept unsolicited material for publication . . .”

“. . . while the book does have potential, it is not right for our list at the moment . . .”

“. . . we will be unable to publish your writing at this time . . .”

“. . . as there is a high competition for a position on our list, we must turn away extremely worthy projects . . .”

“. . . I enjoyed having a look at it, but I’m afraid that I’m just not the right editor for this project . . .”

“. . . do not accept unsolicited creative submissions. Please understand that the policy’s purpose is to prevent any confusion over the ownership of ideas that the Company is working on or considering . . .”

During this time, Design Morality continued to evolve, with new ideas added, and other scenes re-worked. Finally, after I felt that the story was more cohesive, I tried a new approach, beginning to query literary agents this time, even sending a few (those that advertise that they accept them) the completed manuscript.

“. . . we have read your material and, after careful consideration, feel your project is not right for us . . .”

“. . . we cannot offer to represent you . . .”

“. . . we are adding very few new clients to our list . . .”

“. . . our client list is reasonably full, and we’re taking on very few new authors . . .”

“. . .I would not be the right agent for your work . . .”

“. . . it does not meet our present needs . . .”

“. . . we have to be extremely selective about taking on new clients . . .”

“. . . your project is not suitable for our particular needs . . .”

“. . . the project you propose does not seem right for our list . . .”

“. . . while I certainly enjoyed reviewing your material, I am not sufficiently confident in my ability to place this project with a major trade publisher . . .”

Although somewhat discouraged by the whole process, I have not given up hope.

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