I’m going to reveal my age here in a round-about-way. I’ve been writing, and trying to become a writer, now for several decades.
I first fell in love with the idea of becoming a writer when I read my first stories by Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
With Howard, it was the Lancer/Ace Conan stories as edited by Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Campe. Specifically, and I recall this vividly because it was the Frank Frazetta cover that first drew my attention to the book, it was “Conan the Adventurer” with Conan standing atop a pile of death with a scantily clad beauty clinging to his leg.
The other book was Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.” I can’t recall which was first, and really, it doesn’t matter, because both these books opened my eyes and made me realize there was more to books then “The Hardy Boys” or “The Bobbsey Twins.”
They opened up a whole world of fantasy adventure to me, but most importantly, they took me by the collar, shook me, and made me realize that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write these kinds of stories. And I know I’ve mentioned this in the past and you’re probably bored with that part of my history; however, I thought it needed to be repeated.
So I started to write. And submit. I immediately subscribed to “Writer’s Digest.” Started getting copies of the yearbook they put out of all the writing markets. And as soon as I wrote something, I’d submit it.
Sure, it would be rejected. As I look back on a few, I can see why. Tons of backstory. Tons of telling. Tons of other 14-year-old no-nos.
And although I was never professional published in those early days, I did have a piece appear in my high school literary magazine, “The Chrysalis.” That was exciting, to have something published my peers could read. Then I was lucky enough to have something published on a fan page in Eerie Magazine. That black and white horror comic put out by Warren. It was issue #46, March 1973, I believe. That really excited me because it meant I was being read by people who didn’t even know me.
Several years passed and it wasn’t until 1987 and the spring issue of “The Horror Show,” when I was published for pay.
My next publication came in the 1990s. I had several, none for pay. I was published with the now defunct, “Writer’s Guild” and in “Quantum Muse.” Both were online. Neither is available today, although it took me some doing to get the Writer’s Guild, which had gone out of business, but left the writing up, to finally delete the story.
Then, in the 2000s, I had several tweets published by “Tweet the Meat” (now dead), and “Nanaoism,” and a haiku published in “Necrotic Tissue.”
And now, I’ve had an acceptance by “Science Fiction Daily.” It hasn’t been published yet; however, an acceptance is an acceptance, right?
So though I haven’t yet made that breakthrough I’ve been hoping for, the one that springs my writing to national prominence, once this current story is published, I’ll have been published at least once each decade over the past five decades. I may to be lacking the prerequisite talent or abilities needed for a successful writing career, but I am, if nothing else, persistent.
And I’m hoping persistence will win out in the end.