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There are times when life has gotten in the way of my fiction writing. I’m sure this happens to all writers now and then, but it is annoying. This article may sound a bit whiny so I guess I should apologize ahead of time. It has happened several times since I started writing, and the first time nearly ended my interest in writing before it began.
This was back in 1977. I thought I would like to write a science fiction space adventure. I started the story with a giant world ship moving through space. This ship contained the survivors of a doomed world. The government inside was a theocracy run by small clever character with absolute power. His enforcer was a character named Skyer Ren. Ren was a big powerful man with a crimson cape. I had written forty pages or so when I saw the first trailer for “Star Wars.” My world ship was a giant sphere like the Death Star, the ruler was similar to the emperor on “Star Wars” and Skyer Ren had the same attitude and mannerisms of Darth Vader, minus the force. There wasn’t anyone who wouldn’t have believed that I didn’t copy the “Star Wars” ideas. I tossed the story and didn’t write anything again for eight years.
The next thing I wrote was the introduction short story for a computer game I wrote called “Facing the Empire.” I actually got the game published by MVP Software in 1985. This game was a variation of a game called “Solarian” that my friend and I wrote for big computers. This one was for a PC. It had principles of hidden movement, ship building, and resource management that had not yet been seen in popular computer games. Like my first story, the problem was timing, and, like everything I write, there was the problem of an inability to market. The timing came from the fact that, like popular games that came before it, it was a text based game, but it was published just as text based games died in favor of graphics based games. It was like producing a silent movie after talkies became popular.
The first novel that I submitted for print-on-demand was “The Long Journey Home.” The main character in the story is the only one that can identify a terrorist named Fernando. Fernando was number one on the list of every American law enforcement agency because Fernando committed the worst terrorist act on American soil; he blew up a yacht of a U.S. congressman. The first print of the book was in the spring of 2001. Needless to say Fernando’s terrorist act paled in comparison to the nightmare we experienced in September of that year.
Also in that story, two popular places were prominently mentioned. The first was Arman’s Pizza Restaurant in Old Towne Alexandria, Virginia, and the other was Bourbon Street, bar with live bands in Gibraltar. Both places closed within a year of the book’s first printing.
Now we come to my latest novel, “The Teacher.” This is about an alien android that befriends and a blind Irish girl and eventually helps her and her friends discover cold fusion. After I finished writing this story, “Almost Human” premiered on Fox. That android is of human construction and he works in public as a police detective, but his intellect and friendly nature are similar to my android. Fortunately the plot lines have nothing in common.
Okay that’s my whine about the world stealing my ideas. No it is not an excuse for why my writing isn’t popular. There are tens of thousands that write as well as I do and the successful ones know what to do with their stuff after they write it. As I said before, my hat is off to their ability and their perseverance.