For decades I have enjoyed reading science fiction. For decades I imagined different plots and situations in science fiction worlds. I started five different novels, only getting one to four chapters done before getting distracted with life. I drew maps, imagined alien cultures, and investigated the scientific plausibility of different technologies and worlds.
Finally, in May 2013, I decided I needed to write a real book. I made it a goal to complete one in a year. It was fun. I did have to discipline myself to write at least three times a week for a couple hours each, instead of watching Netflix.
Actually my progress was discouraging. I have made a huge complex plan for my story, about 50 chapters, and I was not keeping up with the two chapters each month. Then I decided to break it up into a trilogy. After planning again so that book 1 would be a good stand alone novel, and fit into a trilogy, I was ahead of schedule. A new wave of enthusiasm hit me, and in January 2014, I was done.
Except then I found out there was more work than just getting the first draft done. I hired Anjanette Oborn as my editor, and she convinced me I needed to make some changes to the plots and rewrite several chapters, adding material to important events that I had just summarized in the draft. After considerable more effort, and starting to worry if I would ever get it done, and running out of energy, she coaxed me on. And we finished.
She suggested that I try to get it published through a traditional publisher, but I did not have enough confidence to try that. Maybe I should of followed her suggestion, but self publishing was a lot of fun, if less profitable. I got to make all the decisions about illustrations, price, book size, and everything.
I am happy with my first book. The second edition (of the same book) will be available in a few days with different illustrations. Also, I have made some progress on the sequel.
I still have my full time day job as a computer engineer, and I have not made even close to the money I spend on the book, but it was cheaper than a vacation to Hawaii and the fun lasted longer.