Today's Challenge is: What I wanted to do, and what I do now.
At age 15 I surrendered to full time Christian Service. It was at a youth camp and I felt the call to be a missionary. My plans were set. I would go to a college then on to seminary.
My senior year in high school I was state champion in the mile and it earned me a scholarship to Wayland Baptist College. I majored in History and English, but had 15 hours of religion classes. I knew I'd get most of what I needed at seminary.
My junior year at Wayland I blew my out my knee at the beginning of the track season and my scholarship was over for senior year. I was in love and at the end of the semester I married. Senior year we both worked and I had a light load to finish, she already graduated graduated as she was a year ahead of me. A fictionalized telling of my marriage and it's break up is told in this story.
After graduation we went to Fort Worth and seminary. She developed a chronic and life threatening illness and went home for medical treatment. I finished out the year, but went home to get a divorce. My dream of being a missionary was gone. The Southern Baptist Convention frowns on ministers and missionaries being divorced.
Anyone reading my erotic stories under the pen name Javan Tenebrae might be shocked at what I wanted to be.
Now for what I did. I returned home, got the divorce and found a new love. We've been married for forty-two years, have two children and three grand-children.
I attended UNM, Go Lobos, got my teaching certificate and taught for 27 years in History and English at middle school and high school.
I wrote Vander's Magic Carpet in the 80's on a 286 PC using Bankstreet Writer on 51/2 inch floppy discs. It was for a writing contest, which I didn't win. In the 90's I began writing Optimus: Praetorian Guard. It took ten years to finish. It took two years banging my head against the wall trying to find an agent and publisher. In 2006 I went with Print on Demand a sleezy company called Publish America. I did have two copies of my book within three months of contacting them, but in a few years I shelled a thousand dollars buying the books from them and selling them at book signings for a two dollar profit. After factoring in time, and rental space I was well in the hole.
I wrote Human Sacrifices to strengthen my female characters.
At this point I retired.
I've been retired now for 10+ years and spent six years as a legal assistant for an attorney. Actually a glorified gofer. I scanned documents, kept an eye on the office when he wasn't there, and delivered documents to the courthouses. It did give me an office and plenty of free time to write. I bought my printing rights to Optimus from PA and revived Vander's. Had to update it from the 80's and factor in the new security state since the Twin Towers fell and how hard it would be to sell a flying car today.
I turned Human Sacrifices into a novel and started publishing all my books on Smashwords and Amazon.
Once Amazon went to KDP, where you have to be exclusive I've e-published through them since 2011. The last time I checked my royalty status with them in that time I've earned $230. Most of that was before 2014. It was when everyone was buying e-readers and there weren't that many writing e-books. That changed when Amazon went with Unlimited. There's a huge glut on the market today, and it's hard for indy writers to get big time.
Recently I've been able to convert my e-books into paperbacks with Amazon. I set the price on the e-books, they set the price on the printing costs and I set the selling price with a substantial discount for the author, and free shipping. I can get five to ten copies of my books for under a hundred dollars. It's nice to have copies of my books on my shelves, but alas, Hastings has gone out of business where I did my books signings. And the places I can still have book signings are closed to the pandemic. This shall pass and I've got other books to write and revise the ones I have. It's good to be retired.
Click here to see my author's page at Amazon.