I’ve wanted to write fiction for quite some time, and I owe that desire to two people – Stephen King and Terry Brooks. Although The Stand was a looong book to start off on the journey through King’s back list, it was the first of his that I read. I remember being so engrossed in his dystopian world, I couldn’t get enough. That story alone set my love for anything dystopian. As for the credit I owe to Terry Brooks, I read Magic Kingdom For Sale when I was just 16. I was adolescent and was going through some hard times in life. Family crisis forced me to grow up too fast. I’ll save the rapid growth into adulthood for another blog entry, but I remember having strong feelings about leaving my life for something … else, after reading Magic Kingdom. The romantic connotation of being able to move into a fantasy world seemed like something I really wanted to do, and Brooks was able to write it so that I knew I could do it. It was about a year later that I fully realized what fantasy was, and I became depressed. Still, I was hooked on world building, and I knew then that I wanted to write – to create.
It wasn’t until my daughter was born in 1997 that I actually began to write. I wrote my first short story in early 1998, but I never did anything with it. I printed it out and let my family read it. They loved it, but I chalked it up as them humoring me and my hair-brained idea to become a writer. Some families can be cruel like that, by encouraging ones desires when they really shouldn’t. I felt like a loser for wanting to write and quickly dismissed the dream and moved on with life. I hate self doubt.
Even though I gave up, I still tinkered with writing. I wrote dozens of short stories through the years, never letting anyone see them. They were my own personal outlet from the real world. That all changed when I read about this up-and-coming author and his success with self publishing. His name was Hugh Howey. Timing had it such that the week I read about him, he was scheduled to appear in a local book store. I mentioned it to the family, and we decided to go. That was early in 2013.
Meeting Hugh and listening to him talk about his writing path was awe-inspiring. My desire to publish was reborn, and I began writing in my journal every day. You know – to make up for lost time. Most of that writing was garbage, with glimmers of story ideas sprinkled in for good measure. By mid-year, I had set a plan – to write and self publish a story by my birthday in September. Right after setting that goal, I got to work – narrowing down the multitude of ideas I’d been harvesting through the years. I settled on a time travel story that just felt right to me.
As I pushed through the outlining and world building, I made another discovery. An online writing forum that was filled with more authors similar to Hugh Howey. Hugh was even a regular contributor there. As I submerged into the forum, I happened to come across a thread that was looking for story submissions for a an upcoming anthology. There was no pay, and all the proceeds were to go to charity. I dug out that first story I wrote all those years ago and cleaned it up. I sent it in, and it was accepted right away. The curator of the anthology sent me a personal message telling me how my short story touched her and then made her cry. I was over the moon! I was able to make a person on the other side of the world, cry! With just my words. Realizing the power of the written word, I knew then that I wanted to continue to make people emotional with my stories. I know – A little sadistic.
Sorry, long post here, but I’m getting to the good stuff, I promise!
My short story just so happened to publish about the same time as my first solo project did. I published Linear Shift, Part 1 on September 19th, and I followed up with Linear Shift, Part 2 a few months later. Then, something happened. I became uninspired for my own story line. I began to think of other stories incessantly. I dug out another, unfinished short that I wrote years earlier, and developed it into something much longer. It was still a short story, but it was a complete story now and I published Borrowed Souls in early March of 2014.
That story – Borrowed Souls, is what inspired a reader to submit my name into a growing Facebook group called The Future Chronicles. That reader thought my writing was strong enough to contribute in their highly successful anthologies. The books were curated by a man named Samuel Peralta, and my jaw hit the floor when I saw what he was doing. He was able to wrangle some of the best story tellers in the market today, into contributing speculative fiction in a science fiction environment. Science fiction happens to be my favorite genre, but I have very limited experience in it. Granted, Linear Shift is a time travel story, but it is like diet-sci-if. It’s a lot of fluff, really. I appreciated the nod of confidence to contribute, but I knew that an invite to actually contribute something was a hurdle that I could never get past. Thankfully, Samuel surprised me by accepting my submission into The Immortality Chronicles a few months later!
My included story is called Rememorations, and is a short piece about how one’s own memories can cripple an immortal. Here’s the blurb:
Decades after receiving an immortality endowment, Nathan Duncan returns to the Lazarus Center for Extended Living to discover that his treatment was not all he was promised. The routine maintenance he requires will affect his past every bit as much as his future. Now, Nathan can’t help wondering: Is it the man that makes the memories, or vice versa?
Now, I think everyone is caught up to speed. So, here it is!
It’s Chronicles Week, and it’s a celebration! To date, there are 7 titles already published, with two more available for pre-order. The current titles are: The Robot Chronicles, The Telepathy Chronicles, The Alien Chronicles, The A.I. Chronicles, The Dragon Chronicles, The Z Chronicles, and Alt. History 101. The two tiles available for preorder are: The Immortality Chronicles and The Future Chronicles.
In honor of this celebration, The Future Chronicles authors are giving away a brand new Kindle Paperwhite, pre-loaded with ALL the Chronicles titles already released. Each of these books have hit #1 in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Anthology list! Click below to enter: