At twelve I began to write for fun, which I think is the only real reason to write fiction. I figured it beat reality any old day, and I liked sitting at the desk in my room, pretending to be doing something worthwhile. Daydreaming with a purpose, and gradually I realized I could gain approval for the very thing teachers used to criticize me for in class.
At thirty I looked for something to do besides acting and changing diapers.
Throughout this time I'd kept writing, though sporadically, and about then I began a second novel. Gradually an inkling came there might be a possibility of becoming published. I sure wasn't any good at anything else I might have done locally. On January 27, 1987 I bought my first copy of Writers Digest. Another turning point in my life. For the next several years I wrote manuscripts, sent the work out, joined writers groups, and workshopped my novels with the Green River Writers in Louisville, KY. After seven years I sold my first short story, Culture Control, to the now defunct Cosmic Unicorn. Immediately afterward I was hired by the local newspaper. From there I went to writing actor interviews for Starlog Magazine , a job for which I was singularly qualified.
I also wrote some video sleeve copy for Fox Home Video. That stands as the most highly paid time per hour I've ever spent, and I loved it even if it did attract sympathy from misguided folks who thought it less honorable than scribbling poetry for no money. I was right there with Liberace, crying all the way to the bank. All the while, though, I continued to write novels and novel proposals to send to New York.
Twelve years, twelve completed novel manuscripts, and eight proposals for uncompleted novels after buying that Writer's Digest, I sold a novel. Sold from an outline, "Son of the Sword" was my thirteenth completed manuscript. Lucky thirteen.