One Writer’s Journey: A Guest Blog By Scott Gamboe May 11, 2012Posted by bobv451 in business, contest, e-books, fantasy, sci-fi, science fiction, writing.
Almost six years ago, my first published novel hit the shelves of bookstores across the country. Several years had passed between the first day I put pen to paper, and the day that book was rolled out. Now, six years and five novels later, I find myself looking back at the path that brought me to where I am today.
A quick bio about me: I currently work as a police officer in central Illinois, where I serve as a crime scene investigator and traffic accident reconstructionist. I live in Peoria with my wife, Jill, and my daughter, Erica. I spent four years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, where I participated in the parachute invasion of Panama in 1989, and the First Gulf War in 1990-91. I recently got involved in running. Last year, I ran my first marathon. This year, I have my sights set on a Half Ironman Triathlon: swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles. And from there . . . who knows!
I started writing The Killing Frost (science fiction) in 1995. Off and on, for the next several years, I wrote bits and pieces of what would become my first novel. Eventually, after a complete and very thorough rewrite, Medallion Press agreed to publish my book. We signed the contract in December of 2005, and the book was released nine months later. I attacked my second book much harder. After all, I was getting paid to do this now! In 2008, the result of my efforts was The Piaras Legacy, a medieval fantasy novel. Medallion Press picked this one up as well, and they secured the incredibly talented Dave Dorman to create the cover art. For those who don’t know him, Mr. Dorman has worked with George Lucas, creating artwork for Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I followed this one up in 2009 with New Dawn Rising, the sequel to Frost.
This is where my publishing life took an unexpected turn. Medallion Press changed their format. They were no longer interested in what I was writing. In fact, they switched almost entirely to ebooks. We agreed to part ways, and we remain on friendly terms. I will always appreciate MP for giving me my first shot at publishing.
But this left me back where I started: no publisher, and no agent. Over the next few years, I searched for a new home for my work, all the while continuing to pump out novels: Archon’s Gate, the sequel to The Piaras Legacy. Martyr’s Inferno, a police thriller. A Matter Of Faith (unpublished), medieval fantasy. The First Gambit (unpublished, but under submission), from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And a science fiction vampire novel, 14 Days ‘Til Dawn. The plots for two more novels, a sequel to my thriller and a standalone contemporary adventure, are bouncing around in my head. But where would I publish these books?
Enter Amazon and the Kindle Store. Just as the iTunes Store revolutionized the music industry, Amazon has changed the way we buy books. But it also changed the way we publish. No longer are agents and editors the gatekeepers that can make or break an author’s chance at success. The main benefit to Amazon’s new system is that anyone can publish their novel. The main problem: anyone can publish their novel. With no gatekeeper, books that should never have seen the light of day end up side-by-side with literary masterpieces. This leaves authors struggling to get their work noticed.
I published three books on Amazon: Martyr’s Inferno, Archon’s Gate, and most recently, 14 Day’s Til Dawn. I have high hopes for this last one, and it has nothing to do with the current vampire craze. Actually, the idea came to me while listening to a Tom Petty song, “Freefalling.” The second verse provided me with my story: “And all the vampires walking through the valley; move west down Ventura Boulevard.” Why would vampires move west? To get away from the sun! The next thing I knew, I had a flying city filled with vampires, orbiting a moon in the Alpha Centauri system. The moon has a four-week rotation period, so the nights last for two weeks. Where could you find a better place for vampires?
I’d like to thank Bob Vardeman for graciously allowing me to post a few words on his blog. I’ve been reading his books since the early 1980’s, so it was quite a thrill for me when he agreed to write a blurb for The Piaras Legacy. He has offered me his help a number of times, most recently by promoting my Kindle Fire giveaway. My next contest: three winners will receive autographed copies of all six of my published novels. To enter, you need only post a review of 14 Days on Amazon, then notify me by email. The winner will be drawn on July 15.
Thank you, and keep reading! If you are interested in learning more about me, or my books, you can visit my website at http://www.scottgamboe.net.