New Year’s Eve is here, and it’s time to reflect on my first year’s attempt at writing. In mid January, I decided to try my hand at writing fiction, as the arthritis in my hands had progressed to where I no longer had the requisite flexibility to play bass and guitar properly, and attempts to do so were both frustrating and painful.
To fill that enormous void, writing seemed the logical choice. I’d considered writing numerous times in the past, but had always procrastinated. I’d told myself I had other things, mainly music, to work on, but…was it more a fear of failure that held me back?
It was time to find out, so I dove into the murky waters. My life jacket was a pen name, so that if I turned out to be an abysmal failure, I could make “him” disappear, no harm, no foul. As it happens, he’s become a very popular fellow, more so than his creator!
What to write about was never a question. I didn’t choose Horror as a genre, Horror had already chosen me. I’d been a lifelong fan of horror movies and books, even before the Beatles made their debut on Sullivan and caught my ear so very long ago. Zacherly had been delivering horror to our B&W TV for some time before the Beatles landed.
I was also intrigued by Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, which explored the most remarkable “What If?” scenarios every week, fueling my own imagination…
So, off I went. My friend MJ Zander (a.k.a. “Coach”) kindly took the time to go through my earliest attempts, pointing out the errors I’d made in the basics of structuring a story, as well as better choices to consider as the story progressed. That was the start of a foundation, which I reinforced by taking a couple of seminars and reading volumes of educational material.
It’s important, as well as necessary, to express just how helpful her “edit/seminar” has been. Without her patient guidance, I’d never have progressed to the point of being accepted for publication at all. Thanks, Coach!
But the work has paid off. I’ve actually published numerous short stories during the year, and have produced enough tales to cobble together an anthology of all my work in 2017. My work has been well received and has garnered some very positive reviews on the Amazon releases in which it appears.
I’ve printed a limited run, and very specifically did not acquire an ISBN number, as that would constitute publishing. The contracts for the works I’ve had published prohibit them from being published elsewhere for 6 months to 2 years, and I will uphold my part of those contracts faithfully. This is simply a limited print run, not commercially available at all. I will, however, be sending copies to a very select group of friends as a “Thank You!” for their support, and let’s be honest…to have a book of my own work on my bookshelf is my own reward for a good year’s effort.
I’ve had the good fortune to meet and associate with very talented people…C.P. Dunphey, Patrick Reuman, Carl R. Jennings, David Turton, Steph and Stuart at The Horror Tree, and Dennis Serra come to mind immediately, but there are many others in this extraordinary community. They’ve welcomed me as a member, and I very much appreciate that, and try to contribute and support their efforts regularly.
Since my wife and I will be sound asleep well before midnight tonight, I’ll wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year now, and look forward to continuing this journey in 2018.