My first novel was Princess of Amathar. I originally thought up the story when I was a teenager. It was not a particularly brilliant plot, but was like the adventure stories that I enjoyed reading at the time. I wrote the first chapter several times over the years, but never got much farther. Writing a novel is really hard if you haven't done it before. Just continuing takes a great deal of will power. About the time I started college, I made my last attempt to begin the book. I expanded the beginning while writing other things (mostly fanfic, which thankfully because no one ever heard of the internet in those days, never saw the light of day). I worked at it sporatically for years. After I got my first job teaching Junior High English, I began to share my writing with my students as I encouraged them to write, and they in turn encouraged me to keep going. It still took a long time. Then, when I was about 75% done, I began to share my writing with some of my teacher friends. With their feedback, I finally managed to finish. It was about eight years from start to finish, and this was only 93,000 words. Four fellow teachers helped me revise the book. When that was done, I was so proud that I immediately sent it off to a dozen book publishers. I recieved a dozen rejection letters. I stuck the manuscript away and forgot about writing for a while. Then one day I mentioned my book to a coworker, who suggested I check out Lulu and self-publish Princess of Amathar, if just for myself and my friends, family, and students. I did. I self-published it. Then a funny thing happened. I felt like I could write another novel and a new story just popped into my head.