I am a writer.
I’m a few other things, too. A systems analyst, for one, with a lot of experience in the very precise and fiddly realm of computer technology. I’m also a reader – a voracious one, in fact, and I read very fast. So fast that I miss things, sometimes, in the books that I’m reading. I’m a husband, not yet a father, and a soon-to-be homeowner (assuming that all continues to go well).
Back to the writer part, though, since that’s what’s important here. I learned to read at a very tender age (prior to 3, in fact) and ever since I’ve been able to write, I’ve been dabbling at putting my own words together in my own ways. I remember a book I wrote in the 1st grade, which the school actually bound and lettered, and I illustrated myself – as you do, in those days. It was something about the sun disappearing, and everyone wondering where it went, as I recall.
I still like to tell stories. I am a NaNoWriMo participant for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (I missed last year due to personal reasons) and I am a winner for all of those years except for 2006. The second year is the hardest, they say, and did I ever run straight into that brick wall.
For NaNo 2008, I wrote a novel which I called Elegy. I rarely know the name of my projects when I begin them – this one I knew the title from the moment I began conceptualizing it. It flowed well, mostly, through those frantic 30 days as I rushed toward 50,000 words at the pace of a thundering freight train. There were hiccups and false starts and moments of brain-meltingly bad prose, but in the end I turned up on the far side of 50,000 – and the output wasn’t half bad.
So, after claiming my CreateSpace coupon and receiving a hard-copy edition of my first draft, I proceeded to completely forget about it.
I muddled with it off and on, and actually did a significant rewrite of much of it in the intervening time, but still it hovered around the 50,000 word mark. I came to realize that there was simply no way this was ever going to be the ‘traditional’ novel length of 100,000+ words. It just couldn’t happen, with this particular story – which meant that there was no way in hell any publisher would ever pick it up.
All this time, the self-publishing scene was beginning to develop. I spent a short stint as a partner in a small press a few years back, and that had already cemented the possibility in my head. As ebooks began to grow in popularity, I realized that even though Elegy would never see traditional print, I could still share it via the independent press and electronic media.
So, having joined a writing group in the meantime, I began submitting it to them. Wonder of wonders, they actually enjoyed it! I got some great feedback from them, and did further (though more minor) revisions based on it.
Then, what finally cemented my plans for me was the review of the final part of Elegy by my brilliant and wonderful writing group. An offhand comment made about something I had inadvertently taken out on my first revision sparked the idea for the next tale, where I thought there couldn’t be one. I had thought that Elegy, though I loved the characters and the world I had created, was a one-shot. As it turns out, it’s not.
With my first real sequel under development, I’ve decided to share Elegy. It’s currently in what you might call post-production – going through its final review before I commit it to “print”. I intend to make it available via Amazon and Smashwords, and if all goes well, maybe an actual print edition someday. For now, I’ll venture into the electronic media and see how things play out.
Like I said before, I’m a voracious reader. I’ve read all kinds of authors from all kinds of genres, and it would be impossible for me to single out just one as my biggest influence. I will say, though, that for Elegy, my influences should be plain to just about anyone who reads it. Hopefully there are others out there like me who vastly enjoy the kind of swords & sorcery fantasy which seems to be a rare beast these days – the kind where a hero faces impossible odds and strange, weird situations and must face them with his skill and his wits, and maybe a bit of magic.
My hero’s name is D’Arden Tal. Eisengoth is, after much consideration, the name of the world in which these stories take place. Elegy is the name of D’Arden’s first story, the one that introduced me to him and the world I now know as Eisengoth, and the one which will hopefully introduce him to those who will truly feel for him and the power he wields as well as the trials he faces.
I sincerely hope to find the people out there who will see what I see in the stories of D’Arden, the Arbiters to which he belongs, and the world of Eisengoth, and will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it – maybe more, even. I’ve always had a quiet dream to share the stories in my head with others, and to be able to make them coherent enough for others to understand them. I think I’ve finally succeeded.
I guess we’ll see.