By: Craig J. Sorensen
In 1990, I started to write a book based on a fantasy world
that had rattled around in my head since I was a kid. I finished over 100 pages, then the story
became disjointed. I moved on to writing
I finished my first book in 1994. It was
a modern fantasy, based on an uptight businesswoman who enters into a series of dreams,
each of which features a door where she can wish for something and will receive
it. A sort of homage to the saying, “be
careful what you wish for, or you will surely get it.” Actually, it was more about “be careful how
you wish for it.” The dreams summarily
invaded further and further into her real life, and vice versa.
I tried to find an agent or publisher. I had no writing credits whatsoever. I only
tried a couple then slipped the book into a three ring binder and stashed it in
a box. Truth was, the writing quality wasn’t
where it should be, and deep down, I knew that.
I went back into poetry and short stories, which I had played with since
I had joined the Army in 1980.
Fast forward to 2004, and I returned to that story I’d start
in 1990. Over the years since then, I’d come back
to the idea time and time again, written bits of it, built back stories and
character sketches, drew pictures and maps.
I committed, January 1, 2004, to finish the first installment of the
trilogy I envisioned by the end of the year.
And I achieved that goal.
I planned to find a publisher or an agent. I didn’t actually submit to anyone, I just looked
hard enough to know that selling a novel about an imagined ancient world, a
story with no magical element to it, would probably be a hard sell, especially
for an entirely unpublished author.
And so I tried my hand at literary short stories. I found some encouraging words, but to the
point, from one prospective editor, “you write really well, but your story
lacked vibrancy.” It was a fair cop. The stories I had been writing just didn’t
One nasty little story I had written among my literary
efforts sat off to the side, certainly no lit mag would want it. Then my wife sent me a call she had seen. Seemed that nasty story was a possible fit. I sent out the story and had an acceptance
within 24 hours. Never mind that the
magazine folded before the story was published.
I was paid. I was an author.
Seems I had a home in erotica. I found my energy there. Something in my writing filled in. The characters were more
lively, the settings and situations more vibrant. A mountain I had seemed unable to climb
suddenly seemed more ascendable. A
timely slowing of my duties at my day job left me my early waking hours to
devote to my writing, and the success I was experiencing in erotica spurred me on.
Fast forward to late 2011.
I have around forty published short stories to my name and a couple of
completed books in the hopper, even more in the works. I’ve hit almost every goal I set for myself
when I decided that I needed to get my “street cred” as a writer. In truth, I’ve achieved some things I did not
Suddenly, a crossroads appeared in the windshield.
To be continued…