I Wrote A Novel!
Today my first novel, The Heart of Lightspeed, goes up for sale on Amazon. Thus marking the end of a 20 year journey from an idea sketched up in a college dorm room to a physical book you can hold in your hands. It has been a long time coming and as I sit here with the first copy of the book there are a lot of things going through my head...
The first is that I could not have written this book when I was in my 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I could have written something similar, but a book about nearly-immortal humans written by someone in their 20s would be lacking. It takes hands on experience with being a human being for a few decades to appreciate the real challenges that would come with living for hundreds of years.
I’m also glad I didn’t write this book before I was introduced to modern feminist writings by my friend Denise. The book is far better thanks to having the inclusion of characters who are trans, homosexual and bodily challenged. A younger version of me would not have thought beyond a couple white dudes and a woman.
Time gave me greater perspective, but it was the pandemic that gave me the “now or never” kick in the pants I needed to actually sit down and write. I'd never actually written a full length novel, and focusing on this book helped me through some of the darker parts of the pandemic. If there wasn’t COVID-19 I’m honestly not sure if this book ever would have been written.
After spending months writing it I’m not sure how long, or how well done, edits would have gone without my wonderful wife Marie. It is no exaggeration when I say she found over 1,700+ grammar, spelling, and plot holes during her review of the various drafts the book went through. The story you read is better because of her feedback and support. I can’t thank her enough.
When I was done I decided I didn't want to keep working on this novel. It would have taken months to shop this book around to various publishers to see if anyone wanted it. Honestly, it's a good book but there are better sci-fi books out there still looking for a publisher. So I decided I would self-publish this book and move on to my next project (one I believe can find a publisher) now that I've proven to myself I can focus and write a novel.
Self-publishing has been its own interesting set of challenges. Amazon makes things mostly painless with their Kindle author tools, but you don’t appreciate all the parts that go into a book until you’re staring at document properties trying to calculate where trim lines should go. There were lots of hours spent reading submission guidelines before hitting the upload button.
Behind the scenes Amazon gives authors a healthy robust set of marketing tools, however while the book is pretty good I didn’t do this to sell a bunch of copies. So I don’t plan to go all out trying to market The Heart of Lightspeed. It’s enough that its out there for people to read.
I hope those of you who read The Heart of Lightspeed enjoy your time with it. It’s the product of many hours of writing, many hours of edits by Marie, and then some more writing by me. I’m not sure if I’ll do another book in this universe. So this may be the only adventure for our crew... for now.
Now I’m on to my next book...