1. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    Hi everyone

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by RikWriter, Oct 27, 2015.

    My name is Rick and I live in central Florida, USA. I'm in my late 40s and I've been writing since I was 8, when I read Heinlein's Have Space Suit---Will Travel for the first time. My first novel was an execrable action/adventure shoot em up that I finished at 15, while the second was a nearly-as-bad wish fulfillment adventure story finished when I was 18. Both have long since been contributed to some unfortunate landfill. where I hope no one ever read them.
    I continued to write now and then, just for fun, and by the time I was a sophomore in college, I had two different SF novels going. This was the late 80s and I didn't even own a typewriter, much less a computer, so they were both written longhand, single-spaced, on college-ruled paper in two different 3 ring notebooks. After a while, I began to concentrate on one of the two, a military science fiction tale, and by the time I graduated college and went into the Army, I had nearly 200 pages written...again, that's small writing, single spaced, college ruled, so it was a good chunk of book.
    Then I forgot the notebook in my Bachelor Officers' Quarters room when I went home for Christmas and a maid threw it away. In retrospect, it was just as well, since a good portion of it posited the continued existence of the Soviet Union.
    So, I kind of cooled off of writing for a while, until I got out of the Army and got married. Around the mid 90s, I got a computer and a printer and settled down to seriously finish both books. I did, then sent out queries to agents and managed to get one to accept me. She sic'ed three different ruthless editors on me and we shaped the books up to the best they could be. And then...nothing. After three years of trying, she couldn't sell them and I gave up on my dream of being a published author.
    Flash forward to 2011. My wife and I had two kids (and a dog, and a mortgage and all that good stuff). Someone suggested to me that I should self-publish on Amazon. I was hesitant at first, because self-publishing back in the 90s meant vanity publishing and carried a stigma of being for losers who couldn't take the hint that they didn't have the talent to get published.
    But I finally figured what the heck? So I priced the two books at 99 cents and self-published them. I sold ovr 30,000 copies of the two in the first year. So I wrote two sequels to the military SF book, and just finished a sequel to the other novel.
    So I'm not exactly a published author, but at least some people enjoy reading what I write and I can live with that.
     
  2. Joshua Remigius
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    Joshua Remigius New Member

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    Welcome to the Writing Forums Rick.
    30,000 Copies sure sounds like published and public approved to me! I've just joined as well.
    Looks like this is the place to be to learn as well as improve upon the Creative Writing areas.

    I'll look forward to reading your posts and works as the days go by.
     
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  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum. :) Wow, that's an awesome achievement! Sounds like all your hard work finally paid off. :) And self-publishing is certainly far less stigmatized nowadays. Lots of quality stuff out there.

    Anyway, here's our New Member Quick Start to get you started. See you around!

    -Kat
     
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  4. Erez Kristal
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    Erez Kristal Member

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    30,000 is a great achievement, of course everyone here want to sell as many as possible but 30,000 is still a great achievement, I am sure the only part of it you regret is the low price tag, which leave you with very little after royalties.

    Why did you throw away your first two novels and not just improve them?
     
  5. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    It left me with $10,000. That's nothing to sneeze at. If I had priced them higher to start out, they probably wouldn't have sold so widely. People will take a chance on an unknown, self-published author with few reviews for under a buck. For $3? Maybe not.

    Because they were crap? When I say that, I'm not being modest, I am being honest. They were horrible, un-improvable. To make them something worth reading I would have had to re-plot and re-write them totally to the point where they would have bore little resemblance at all to the original. Basically, I consider them a writing exercise to teach myself what NOT to do.
     
  6. Erez Kristal
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    Erez Kristal Member

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    Gotcha. So... Whats your science fiction series is about?
     
  7. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    There are two.
    The first is a military science fiction trilogy titled "Duty, Honor, Planet," with the first book titled that, the next "Honor Bound" and the last "The Line of Duty." It's the story of Jason McKay, a former Marine platoon leader recruited to lead a special forces unit for a 23rd Century military that lacks such an institution, in order to meet a possible threat from an alien enemy. The "alien" enemy turns out to be very different than they think, but I don't want to give away the twist.
    Let's just say the series is about the effort to fight and, more importantly, understand who and what this enemy is.

    The second series is, so far, only two books. The first is called "Birthright" and the sequel "Northwest Passage," though I am currently working on the third, "Enemy of My Enemy." This series is a combination of cyberpunk and space opera, with a little mil-sf thrown in as well. It's the story of Caleb Mitchell, a farmer from an agricultural colony founded by a pacifist religious sect like the Quakers who, when war broke out with an alien empire, volunteered for the Commonwealth Military Academy back on Earth, which alienated him from his neighbors and family. He's selected for an experimental program of cybernetic augmentation and placed in a top-secret commando group whose mission is to demoralize the enemy.
    Near the end of the war, he found out the enemy has occupied his homeworld and he went against orders to land there and organize a resistance, and helped to plan an attack to retake the planet.
    The first book takes place after the war, when he has retired from the military to become the chief Constable for his homeworld, but the place has changed a lot since the monopolistic Corporate Council has built a mining operation and brought in thousands of offworld workers.
    What used to be an agrarian society with small towns is now a mining operation with large, dirty cities and a lot of crime. Caleb is approached by a Corporate mineral scout who tells him that she discovered a cache of high-tech artifacts from the mythical lost race of advanced aliens that are referred to as The Predecessors, and that now someone in the Corporate Council is trying to kill her to keep it secret.
    The conspiracy to use this alien technology to take control of the government soon threatens Caleb's family and he's forced to go on the run to fight it.
    That's the first book. The second, Northwest Passage, is about an attempt to one of the surviving enemies from the first book to find the fabled "northwest passage," an interstellar transition line that will lead to the home of the Predecessors and about the race to head them off.

    Here's the link to my Amazon author page:


    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B1GNL4E/?tag=writingfor07a-20
     
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  8. DancingCorpse
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    DancingCorpse Member

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    That's a warming introduction, hope you continue to scrawl, 30,000 is a beautiful achievement!
     
  9. Adhulari
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    Adhulari Member

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    Hello Rick, welcome to the forum!
    That's an amazing achievement. I hope to learn something from you and read some of your work here. Enjoy your time here :)
     

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