Of course, the twenties were incredible, the thirties and forties were fantastic, and the fifties were pretty good.
With effect from 7th November, I’ll embrace the Seventies.
It was 53 years ago that I joined the British Army, leaving home, and Scotland for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history.
I may have tackled my literary ambitions later in life than some authors, but I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved thus far.
I first tried my hand at creative writing in 1996, a few years after completing my military service in 1992. I wanted to record as much information as possible about my career, transcribing from notebooks, diaries, and official documents. I refreshed myself on how to touch-type, a skill I learned in the military. I produced countless pages of information, and tried over a short period to make it an autobiography, but the writing was awful for so many reasons.
As my next career (Retail Management) was taking off, I got back into reading, and some years later, in 2007, I bought books and magazines to study writing. I also joined websites that facilitated posting poetry, short stories, reading, and reviewing by all members. I next got underway with letters to magazines, and entering short story competitions. Success, apart from publication, included cash, book prizes, and inclusion in anthologies.
Since 2012, I’ve published novels, novellas, anthologies of short stories, and poetry collections. Between 2018, and the present day, with the exception of erotica, I’ve converted all of my work into paperback. My output was increased when my retail career ended after 25 years. I had reached official retirement age (65) in 2017.
As seen in the graphic above, I eventually completed what had started out as an autobiography. I amended the story to be fact-based-fiction, changing names and so on, which removes any worry of legal action. Instead of cutting out large segments of the story, I concentrated on making it an easy-to-follow, cohesive read by creating five logical phases to cover the time period. I then spent a year fine-tuning the end product one part at a time. The eBooks were published over 2016 and 2017. I returned to the manuscript, and, once again using logical phases, produced a paperback trilogy so that in either option, the story is the same, word-for-word. I’m delighted to report that they are among my top-selling titles.
What are my intention for the future?
My Work in Progress consists of four more crime thrillers, a sci-fi fantasy, and another anthology of short stories. When all of those have been published I may cease to produce new work.
I’m a firm believer that as authors, even after that final edit, and a book has been on sale for a while, we know there will be an urge to return to it. I’ve learned so much as time has passed, and my writing and style have improved. I’ve already revised most of my titles, but when the final one is published, I intend to reread each of my books, and improve them wherever possible.
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There are so many things said about age, like it being, ‘but a number’, ‘sixty is the new forty’, and so forth, but for me as an author, each year creates another level of life experience, appreciation of all things, and a deep desire to improve, and entertain with my writing.
Updates here will keep readers in the loop regarding my progress. At some point while reading my catalogue, I may dream up another literary offering, but we’ll see.
Once again, I thank all of you who have helped make my lifelong writing dream a success.