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.