When I was a kid, my friends and I were enamored with Star Wars and started trying to make our own movies. We learned more about film making on our own, than I ever learned studying film making in college. And we produced some pretty cool short films. The do-it-yourself bent that I had as a kid, came back to me as an adult when I decided to write my first novel.
I didn’t attend writing classes and I didn’t go back to school to get a degree in English Literature. I just started writing. Turns out I actually enjoyed it. I could do anything I wanted and I had fun writing it. When I was finished, I even tried to get it traditionally published. But that’s when I learned that it was not really that good. So I studied up on this writing thing. With the vast resources of the internet, I was able to come up to speed on how to write a novel far quicker than I was able to learn how to make movies as a kid. I rewrote and polished that first novel over and over, until I thought it was much improved. Then I looked around at what was available to me and decided to publish it myself. Just like I did as a kid, by showing my short films to the neighbors, by projecting them on the side of my house and charging them a dime to see it.
But I didn’t know anything about publishing a book. So I got on the interent and taught myself how to build a book. I enlisted my brother, who was a graphics artist. Together we learned how to make a book. Was it perfect? No. Was is fun to do? Yeah, kinda. I mean parts of it were, and parts of it were hell. But we had a good time, and I realized that I could take my stories directly to the people without getting the subjective opinions of a few select people.
Later on, after having done my second book, I started to realize that there were other people out there rolling their own books and selling them on this newfangled deal called the Kindle. I didn’t have a Kindle, but I realized that Amazon was letting me distribute my little books to a much wider audience. So I put my first book up on the Kindle and waited to see what happened. Well, nothing happened. I never sold more than five in a good month. But that was five people who I didn’t know that had now possibly read my book. That was intoxicating and it motivated me to keep going. I wrote a second novel, in a different genre. It was fun to write and I realized that I liked writing outside the SF genre.
But SF was my first love. So I went back to that genre and started writing short stories. I didn’t write a hundred of them like some writers did. I focused them in the same universe as my novel and I even used reoccurring characters to create a series of stories that were all related. I started sending them out and a few even got published in paper anthology and on the web. But I soon realized that what I really wanted to write was more novels. So I set the short stories aside and started writing my second SF novel.