John B. Rosenman, a retired English professor, has published 300 stories in The Speed of Dark, Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Galaxy, The Age of Wonders, and elsewhere. He’s also published twenty books, including SF novels such as Beyond Those Distant Stars and Speaker of the Shakk (Mundania Press), and Alien Dreams and A Senseless Act of Beauty (Crossroad Press). MuseItUp Publishing has published four SF novels. They are Dark Wizard, Dax Rigby, War Correspondent, and two in the Inspector of the Cross series: Inspector of the Cross and Kingdom of the Jax, a sequel which appeared in May 2013. MuseItUp also published The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes (winner of Preditor’s and Editor’s 2011 Annual Readers Poll), More Stately Mansions, and the dark erotic thrillers Steam Heat and Wet Dreams. Two of John’s major themes are the endless, mind-stretching wonders of the universe and the limitless possibilities of transformation—sexual, cosmic, and otherwise.
Twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/Writerman1
- I’m retired, so I’m able to devote more time to my writing than I do. I probably spend about three or four hours writing a day, and a couple of hours a day promoting or trying to promote what I’ve written. Much of my writing is rewriting, rewriting, rewriting and thinking about what I’ve written, trying to solve problems and to get it right. For over a year, I’ve been writing a sequel to a sequel. The novel is Defender of the Flame, and I’m doing it in a vacuum, without the supportive writers group I depended on for twenty years because it dissolved. But that’s okay, I wrote Kingdom of the Jax, the sequel to Inspector of the Cross the same way too, and it turned out pretty good. You know, it’s interesting. I’ll be seventy-three years old this April, and I didn’t even successfully complete the second novel in a series until I was past seventy.
- Many years ago, before I even knew who she was, I met the famous, award winning SF writer Lois McMaster Bujold at a local SF convention. Later I read her space opera novels and liked them so much I named my heroine Stella McMasters in my space opera Beyond Those Distant Stars, published by Mundania Press. Stella’s career has flat-lined until she has a radioactive accident and doctors turn her into a superhuman cyborg in order to save her life. Subsequently, she is given her first command of a ship and the chance to save humanity from aliens who have invaded the galaxy and brought us to the brink of ruin. As if that challenge isn’t great enough, she encounters terrible prejudice for being a cyborg and experiences fear that no man will ever be able to love her or find her attractive, or that she herself will ever be able to respond romantically and sexually again to a man. In short, there’s far too much on her plate to ever expect an HEA ending—or is there?
- I write because I have to and because I must. I’ve done it all my life in one form or another, ever since I was a kid. Heck, I used to scribble in crayon, make up crude cartoon panels. I also write to express myself and my ideas, because there’s something unique in me I must get out onto paper or my computer screen. If I lie fallow too long, something’s wrong. My best story, my best creation is yet to come. At least I hope so. I must believe that, and I must challenge myself to write it. As for struggles, I’ve struggled with doubts that I’m any good, struggled with getting published, struggled with endless rejection and disappointment, struggled with publishers accepting my work and then going belly up, struggled with editors dragging their feet and not responding. I could go on and on. One big endless struggle is trying to make a work of fiction as good as it can be, and never quite succeeding. That’s what revision and revision and revision are all about.
- Having someone, especially a publisher, editor, or reader say something you wrote is really fine and got inside them, even changed them a little is one heck of a reward. One of my friends once paused and said, “This is a wonderful story.” You just can’t do much better than that. Of course, winning an award for a story or novel provides validation too and is great. And I must not forget holding your published book in your hand or a brand new magazine with your story in it. Or signing three or five hundred signatures for the author’s sheet for a limited edition of your book or a book in which you appear with other authors.
Sometimes even better is the feeling when you’ve written something and you know, you just know, it’s mighty fine, that it both glistens and glows on the page, that you’ve burnished and you’ve polished it until you can’t make it better. Then as a literary craftsman, you can pat yourself on the back and take a bow before yourself, an audience of one. Yes, I suppose you can call that personal satisfaction. And networking is good, too. When your peers wink at you or slap you on the back and chant like a Greek chorus, “Well done.”
Monetary gain? Yes, indeed. Nothing wrong with that. I’ll take it every time.