Local residents co-author book that was nearly 10 years in the making

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published March 23, 2021






WEST BLOOMFIELD/FARMINGTON — It was approximately 10 years ago that West Bloomfield resident Gary Gabel and Farmington resident Tom Buck had an outline for a book that they wanted to work on together.

The two were business partners at an organization called Infinite Learning, and with each of them having writing experience, they decided to collaborate on a book for which Gabel had created an outline.

However, over the course of time, the process of completing the book stalled. As Buck said, “It has probably sat on the shelf for a couple years at a time without us doing anything on it, maybe even three years.”

It was last year when, Buck said, “We saw that path to completion.”

What turned out to be the path to completion was the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The way COVID played into it is, at the very beginning of the year, when the COVID story started coming out, January, February, March, Gary had this realization that kind (of) put the bookends on the storyline for us,” Buck said. “We could let that help us drive how this character begins on this path of retrospection.”

Buck shared a synopsis of the book, which is titled “Day One.”

“It’s basically a novel about the main character ... Paul Bryant. Paul goes through some life experiences that cause him to start to second guess where he’s at in his life,” Buck said. “He starts looking at how he might be able to turn that around. … It’s how he goes about doing that and it’s where he ends up. … Some of those reflections are occurring while he’s in his hospital bed.”

Gabel provided details about how the idea for the book came about.

“Over the course of years, I have seen people suddenly experience significant emotional events that were so profound that they caused them to seriously question the direction of their lives,” he wrote in an email. “I wanted to create a novel that would cause people to stop and think about the direction of their own lives. I wanted people to see that redemption is possible.”

This is the second book for both Buck and Gabel.

In the ’90s, Buck wrote a book called “101 Ways to Power Up Your Job Search,” which was published by McGraw Hill.

Gabel’s first book was “Personal Takeover,” published by Career Press in 2003.

“Day One” is self-published.

The book was released over a month ago and is available at Amazon.com in either paperback or Kindle format.

Gabel is a graduate of Cooley High School in Detroit. He went on to attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the University of Detroit and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He earned a doctor of education in human resource development from George Washington University. He’s a member of Mensa.

Buck graduated from a high school in Dayton, Ohio, and was part of Michigan’s Class of 1977 before going on to earn an MBA from Wayne State University.

He has served as Farmington’s mayor for two terms and has also been a City Council member.

Buck currently serves on Farmington’s Downtown Development Authority.

Both writers had help from family members in completing “Day One,” with Buck’s wife, Karen, providing four illustrations, and Gabel’s son, Tom, providing one.

Buck discussed how he and Gabel came to co-author the book.

“Gary had started on the storyline, and then he asked if I would take a look at it, see where he was,” he said. “I gave him some thoughts back; I wrote some things to supplement what he had written, and he said, ‘Hey, let’s go at this together.’”

The two would occasionally utilize Zoom and emails to check up on where the other was at in the writing process.

Buck said they were not in the same room very often.

As for what he wants people to get out of the book, Gabel stated it’s the power of choice.

“The fact that we can choose the direction of our lives,” he wrote. “We don’t have to accept the world that has been handed to us. I also want them to see that being successful isn’t always about money. The most successful people may not be wealthy but, instead, may be those who have profoundly impacted the lives of others — for the better.”

Buck has also given some thought as to what he would like people to take from the book.

“We hope that they would enjoy the story and maybe find something about themselves that they would like to take on as a change and follow or parallel the path of this character as he’s made his changes to create more success and satisfaction in his life,” he said. “That’s why we called it ‘Day One.’ It’s really about a character trying to get to a better place. I think so many of us are trying to get there, particularly these days.”

Buck said he and Gabel have talked about a potential follow-up to “Day One.” But in the meantime, they can enjoy completing a journey that was nearly a decade in the making.

“It’s terrific,” Buck said. “I think Gary and I both felt extremely good about getting this out in the past couple months. … I’m happy that it’s out.”