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I wouldn’t like to just do one story or one type of stories all the time.
– Fred Saberhagen
The Berserkers have been with me for about forty years, and we’re not done yet.
At this stage, my chief professional goal is simply to keep on writing and making a living at it.
I guess if one set of my books was selling like Stephen King’s, and the other wasn’t selling at all, editors would want me to do the ones that sold like Stephen King’s. But they seem to be willing to let me pick what I want to do next.
I wrote speculative fiction because I loved to read it, and thought I could do better than some of the people who were getting published.
I started writing seriously about 1960, at the fairly advanced age of 30.
I suspect that writer’s block afflicts mainly people who have some stable and ample source of income outside of writing. So far it hasn’t been a problem.
There’s a big overlap with the people you meet at the fantasy and science fiction cons.
The same tools that make any writer good, plus a cheerful willingness to suspend belief.
I don’t know why a computer game can’t be an art form just as a puppet show or an opera is. I’m still interested in computer games as something I would like to work on someday.
I doubt I’ll ever do another book collaboration; I’ve been spoiled. Roger and I both happened to move to New Mexico at about the same time, when we each had a family of young kids to raise. Socializing seemed to lead naturally to working together.
And what we know, or think we know, about the universe of space and time is changing very quickly.
I had immediate success in the sense that I sold something right off the bat. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it really wasn’t. I have drawers full of – or I did have – drawers full of rejection slips.
Mysteries I read for fun, so I will probably never write one, for fear of spoiling the fun.
My gut feeling is that paper and ink are going to be with us for a long time yet, and in substantial quantities, though certainly books are now going to be available in other forms.
Actually ideas are everywhere. It’s the paperwork, that is, sitting down and thinking them into a coherent story, trying to find just the right words, that can and usually does get to be labor.
There are interactions with characters within the game which I think are pretty neatly done considering the limitations that you have to work with. I mean, a computer can’t really generate a character that talks back and forth with you successfully.
I have some good stories yet to tell.
The advice would be the same for any kind of fiction. Keep writing, and keep sending things out, not to friends and relatives, but to people who have the power to buy. A lot of additional, useful tips could be added, but this is fundamental.
Probably all the books I’ve ever written have been efforts to define the boundaries of humanity.
The comments I most appreciate come from ordinary readers who’ve happened on one of my books at some time of stress in their lives, and who actually credit the book with helping them through a bad time. It’s happened a few times in forty years.
More immediately, I’m currently working on another Dracula in which there will be connections with ancient Egypt. That’s about as far as I want to go in commenting on current work.
If people ask me for the ingredients of success, I say one is talent, two is stubbornness or determination, and third is sheer luck. You have to have two out of the three. Any two will probably do.
Research is of considerable importance in certain fields, such as science and history.
I finally decided one day, reading science fiction magazines of the time, I could do at least as well as some of these people are doing. So I finally made a serious effort.
Only towards the end of this process are any of the chapters in fully readable condition, a state of affairs that used to alarm my wife. But Joan’s got used to it.