This question came up again this past week. Why do writers always ask each other this question? To me – asking me why I write is akin to asking why I collect swords. Or asking me why I like chocolate. Writing is something I’ve always been attracted to and always enjoyed – just like swords and chocolate. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t reading. And I honestly have very little recollection of a time when I wasn’t a writer. I’ve been fascinated by the written word since I was four. That was about the time I started reading. I was reading at a 12th grade level by age ten. I devoured books by the bag full. My favorite place was the library. I preferred reading to playing outside and oftentimes my mom would have to take my book away to get me to go to bed. When I began writing I started with short stories and by age ten, I’d penned my first attempt at a novel. I discovered Shakespeare in Jr. High and fell in love. All through high school I was a closeted writer until I was about seventeen at which time I took the plunge and proudly declared that I was going to be a journalist and have my own column by the time I was thirty.
I started my college years majoring in journalism. But by age nineteen it occurred to me that I really wanted to write novels. I switched my major to English Creative Writing and never looked back. I sold my first short story at age twenty-four. That same year I started selling articles to a national trade magazine. Not three years later, at age twenty-seven, I had my own column in that trade magazine and I’d written my first NF Esoteric book. But being a columnist and NF author wasn’t really what I wanted to do. After a strong three year run I let the column go and started focusing on the novel that had been percolating in my brain since I was nineteen. I’d tried writing the novel several times during my twenties but it never really worked. Then in 2004, at age thirty-two, I finally finished Traveling on the Left Horse Black. After entering it in a contest and losing, and because of that contest finding an agent, I ended up selling the book to a small press. The summer after that, after getting tons of phone calls about my first NF Esoteric book from 2000-2005 , I decided to re-release it in paperback using Lulu (at that time Indie was still a really dirty word). That was the beginning of DB Publishing. In 2009 I found out I was a Lulu NF bestseller with well over 2000 books sold from that venue alone (not counting books I bought and distributed myself or books sold through other distribution and printing outlets). Of course while all this was happening I had other short stories published, offers from small and large publishers alike for both fiction and non-fiction, and I did some freelancing and ghost-writing. Now, at age thirty-eight, I have four novels and three novellas in print with more on the way, along with eight NF Esoteric titles and more on the way there. It was a long hard road, but I am the published author I always aspired to be.
Not being an author never occurred to me. It still doesn’t. I’ll write until my hands fall off and I’ll compose stories in my head until my imagination ceases to exist. It’s not just what I do – it’s who I am and have always been. And that is why I write.