Once upon a time, I decided to write a book.

So, about seven years ago I decided to write a book.

I just wanted to see if I could do it again. My basic idea was a war between Cthulhu and Fairy. I wrote the first hundred pages or so and stalled. I frittered around for a few months, then went on a "writing vacation" to Baker City, holing up in the Geiser Grand.

I came up with a solution and forced myself to finish the book. It was the wrong solution. It didn't really work. But I finished the book, and that was my goal.

I handed it to my friend Martha and she tried to be encouraging but it was obvious she didn't think much of it. "All the characters sound like you." Ouch.

I set the book aside and tried again. This time a fantasy. Again, I struggled with it, and the end result was relatively bland, though I did start to get some of my old rhythm back toward the end of the book.

By now, about eight months had passed and I didn't really feel like I'd accomplished much.

I thought back to my inspirations, and there was no bigger inspiration than The Hobbit. So I updated The Hobbit into a cyberpunk story. Not a copy. If you didn't know what I was doing, you might not guess. But I used it as a template.

But most of all, I did Freedy Fikins for my own amusement and I wrote it fast and by the end of the book, it clicked.

"Oh, THAT'S how you do it!!!!"

I woke up one morning with a vampire story.

"NO, don't write a vampire story. Everyone is writing a vampire story--worse, everyone has already written a vampire story."

But I'd decided after Freedy Filkins that I would write whatever inspired me at the moment. So I wrote the book and damn if it didn't come out relatively well. I immediately dove into a sequel and it turned out even better.

By now, Sabrina was manager of my store, Pegasus Books, and I was free to write. 

I'd had the idea for a supernatural Donner Party story for a long time. I was completely surprised that no one had done it yet. So I sat down and wrote the Led to the Slaughter and at the end I felt it was a mature book, that I'd hit my stride.

I wrote a short scene about a super-intelligent pig that was out to kill people and before I knew it, Tuskers had popped out and...it was fun.

After that, I sort of fell into a black hole of writing for a year. I mean, I just didn't pop my head out for months at a time, but wrote and wrote and wrote. Whatever story grabbed me at the time, I didn't think about it, I just wrote it.

I suspected that it was a weird confluence of creative energy and free time and I'd better not squander the opportunity.

That runaway train continued for the next three or four years. Writing every day, honing my craft to the best of my abilities. I started hitting hills, but the momentum was so strong that the train just kept chuggy.

I ended up writing a a bunch of books, about half of which are viable, mature books that I think offer something to the world. I let nothing stand in the way. I was disciplined and the creative flow just kept flowing.

Well, the train has finally slowed down a little.

I have little doubt that I could continue writing, but it would be more like work than play. I've decided to slow down. To consolidate and think about what I've done. I knew from the beginning that the creative energy was something special and wouldn't continue forever.

I'm pretty amazed looking back.

I just wanted to write a book.