I wrote my first story, or at least tried to, way back when I was 17. (Jeez, that was 30 years ago!) I had read a lot of “Conan” books by the late Robert E. Howard, most of them edited and/or revised by Lin Carter, and had a notion that I could make a similar story. I got through 4 chapters and stopped. I had those pages for years, and most who read them said they would buy the book if available. At the time, I was more interested in drinking and getting stoned, so had to work in order to support those desires.
Years went by, and I eventually got into way too much trouble with the law, and was convinced by the State I needed to change my lifestyle. I quit the really stupid stuff and actually found I could hold a job for more than a year (or less) at a time.
Writing was not in the forefront of my mind, though I penned quite a few poems during rest periods. I had lost the story from my youth, and only revisited the comments, as my memory leaves a whole bunch of areas of my past blank.
In 2010, I injured my back and went on workers comp, so had time on my hands. I began writing a science fiction story, and a different sword-and-sorcery story than the one of my younger days, but still grasping at the writings of Howard.
It seemed almost effortless, and before I knew it, I had almost 16,000 words.Thinking I had a great book, I began looking at Self Publishing options. While searching, I found that most modern novels contained no less than 50,000 words. I was flabbergasted. I wasn’t even 1/3 the way through!
One of the companies I had signed up to get more info from called me, and we began looking at the possibility of making a book of poetry instead. I had the ability to write poems with hardly any effort. So, I made more of them to add to the ones already had in order to get the recommended page count, sent them in, and viola. I now have a published book, registered with the Library Of Congress, with my name on the spine!
I am still working on the novels. Seems like the words just don’t flow like those first 16,000. I have since begun what I considered a prequel to “Barbarian Tales”, the story I began in 2010, and called it “The Barbarian”.
I am also enrolled in, indeed almost finished with, a writing course offered by Long Ridge Writers Group. In it, I have twice submitted excerpts of the prequel in order to get editing help and make sure it was a good story. I have decided to go ahead and have this “second” part lead up to the “first” part, combining them into one story and thus boosting the word count; in effect doubling what either would be alone, and cutting what I still have to come up with.
So, while still not considering my self a published author, I am a published poet. But I don’t really want to be a poet, I wish to be an Author. It would be fabulous to walk into a bookstore, or even a library, and be able to point to a selection on the shelf saying, “That one’s MINE.”