Growing up, I never had any particular desire to be a writer. I wanted to be a soldier. I did swallow legions of books by science fiction authors, as that was what my dad preferred and we had a number of them around the house. So in a sense, I grew up with Asimov, Heinlein, and others. As an adult, my tastes grew more refined, but the science fiction thing had rubbed off on me.
I spent countless hours while deployed reading and re-reading my favorite three authors, John Birmingham, S.M. Stirling, and Joe Haldeman. Of course, I was open to all comers, with Scalzi, Morgan and others being mixed in there.
By the time that my departure from the Army was inevitable, I had spent several decades reading sci-fi. I liked a lot of it, some of it I didn’t. One day, while waiting for the Army to give me my retirement orders, I had an idea.
I’d write my own book. It would be science fiction, of course, and I would draw upon my experience in decades of service. I’d tell it like it is, and do my best to stay as close to the real deal as possible. The works would of necessity be gritty, and at times gut-wrenching. I would tell the story of a common soldier caught up in hell.
From reader feedback I have received, I think I’ve been successful so far. If I stray from the path, I expect you the reader to tell me. Combat is not glorious. It is not some grand adventure. It is the systematic destruction of your enemies, or their destruction of you.
But hey, enough of the crazy stuff. I’m retired now, and I write books. I’ve completed my first trilogy, and I’ve banged out a few short stories. One can be found on John Birmingham’s Patreon website where he is creating a new collaborative apocalyptic universe.
I’m done being a soldier. Now I’m a writer, and glad of it.