I started writing Henchmen in around July of 2013.  As long as I can remember I always told myself stories and thought they were devilishly clever.  That July I was sitting on the couch.  It was hot as balls in Albuquerque and I was playing Saints Row III for, like, the fourth time.  Don’t get me wrong, Saints Row is awesome, but after the fourth time through I was kind of getting bored with it.

That was one of those “fuck it” moments.  I’d been bandying this idea of a group of henchmen around in my head for years.  I’d had several false starts with it (I should see if I’ve still got the original first chapter around here somewhere -it’s dreadful) and something clicked.  I started writing and never looked back.  Even after I didn’t sell a gajillion copies I just kept going.  About a month after publishing the first book I finally figured out where to go with the second.

Writing started as something to do, became a hobby, and sort of spiraled out of control from here.  It’s become my release in a way that gaming never could.  There were times when I caught myself writing with my eyes closed; so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open but still typing away.

Times like those always make me happy that I learned to type on an old mechanical typewriter.  I was trained by a woman who had been a professional typist (read secretary) back in the day.  She was a serious battle-axe.  Everyone in my junior high school was terrified of her.  I found that if I just paid attention and tried my best she was remarkably easy to get along with.  I was never quite good enough to use the electric typewriters, though; only the really good students got to use those and I never broke 60 words per minute.  Now, as a programmer, I’m probably better than I was back then, but that just means I can type semi-colons and curly braces like fiend.

Anyway, I found myself typing with my eyes closed, seeing the story unfold in my head and transferring it to the screen by touch alone because I was too damned stubborn to, you know, go to sleep.

Now I can say I’ve written two books and am working on a short-story collection, which is something I never would have guessed I’d be able to say a few years ago.  I haven’t made squat for money, but I don’t think that’s why I’m doing it anyway.  I’m torn between saying I keep writing because it’s a great way to while away the time and I keep writing just because I want to think someone, somewhere, is listening to what I say.

At any rate, if you’re thinking about writing a book, go for it.  Just think of it as telling someone a story.  You may not get famous or rich, but you might find you have a good time doing it.

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