Well, what is there to say really? Judging from the emails I get, quite a bit I suppose.
First off, I want to clear the air a bit about a common misconception. I wasn’t one of those kids that walked around telling everyone that they were going to be a writer when they grew up. Heck, when I went to college I still had no intention of becoming a writer. I had dreams of being a historical journalist (don’t ask, it made sense when I was 23), not writing fiction. I wanted to travel the globe, study native cultures and teach them how to record their history for future generations. How to preserve their folklore and family history. It was a noble idea, and one that fell flat on its face the moment I faced the harshness of reality.
You have no idea just how hard it is to get funding for something like that.
Up until about two years ago, I still didn’t consider myself a writer. Sure, I had written four books by that point, but I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I just figured I was killing time in between jobs, filling those lonely days by creating worlds in which people might want to play in. Well, people being me, but you get the point.
My friend Leo told me one day while I was discussing this new project I had started that, under no uncertain circumstance, was I allowed to deny being a writer any more. I asked him why, and he replied with “Dude, you’ve written more books than most writers”.
So yeah, that’s how I became a writer.
Edit — 3/13/2019 — This thing is notoriously out-of-date. Since I first wrote this, I’ve published 8 novels and sold another 12 short stories, with 2 more novels due out (at least) in 2019. I’m still in Virginia.
Edit — 4/23/2020 — I am a horrible human being for not keeping this updated. I think I’m at… uh… 15 novels so far, 3 novellas, and 27 short stories published or awaiting publication. Still in Virginia for now.
Edit — 4/12/2023 — So I finally moved. I’ve also had a lot of books come out since 2020. The pandemic kept me tied to the keyboard. I now also am employed at Baen Books, though not in any editorial capacity. I leave that for the people who don’t want to write books.