Friday, January 4, 2013

Looking back on 10 glorious years of fiction writing

I won't be anywhere near my computer tonight, but I wanted to let you lot in on a little secret: It was 10 years ago tonight that I sat down at my old Gateway desktop computer, its massive monitor, and began to write the manuscript that became Obloeron: The Quest For The Chalice, the first book in The Obloeron Trilogy, the series that was just recently extended by the release of The Shadow Looms. At that time, the book had no title; the file I had titled "YanosKingsfoil" after what had been the titular character. It wasn't even a trilogy then. I had just sat down and began writing a story that had been percolating in my mind for the past year, after conversing with New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore at our local WaldenBooks (Bob is from Leominster, and I am originally from Fitchburg; those are neighboring towns) about writing fiction.

I was a fantasy fan growing up, and my first thought about writing books was that I wanted to be a fantasy author. I didn't read the books of Lord of the Rings until 2001, just before I had started writing, but I had read The Hobbit when I was 11. My father had put it in my hands, and I simply loved it (I smiled when Gandalf talked about "the game of golf" being invented in the movie last week. That's one of the things that stuck out at me in Tolkien's then-style), but I didn't really like reading when I was younger. I did, however, want to be a writer, since I had always been a storyteller--I just hadn't found the book that turned on the switch on my love of reading until my later teen years.

Did I know 10 years ago that I would be where I am today? Inching closer to 7,000 book sales, sitting on 16 novels published? Another one waiting in the wings, plus one being written, and another stewing in the mind? Three children's books (Why am I writing children's books?!), plus a few novellas and short stories? Did my mind really have these stories inside of it, waiting to come out? Just why did I wait until then to start typing them out?

Just thinking about it all makes me tingly, and a little bit sad at the same time.  But this isn't a time for sadness. This is a time for celebration. It's been 10 years -- 10 whole years -- that I've been writing fiction. Cake for everyone, I say.

Here's to the next 10 years. May they be just as productive.