It’s my birthday month, and this year I turn fifty-eight. I started writing with the intent of making it my life’s work when I was eighteen, which means that I’ve been at this for forty years.
I published my first story in my college’s literary magazine in 1985 when I was twenty-one. I published my first novel in 2001 when I was thirty-six. (And I wrote a lot of unpublished stories and novels before I started publishing regularly.) The story was called “Shadow Play,” and it was a science fiction tale about a time travel device that allows you to re-experience every moment of your life. The novel was Dying for It, a work-for-hire humorous erotic mystery. During most of those years, I taught composition and creative writing classes as a part-time instructor at various colleges.
Where am I now, career-wise?
I’ve traditionally published over fifty novels and seven collections of short stories. Most of my published work is original dark fantasy and horror, along with media tie-ins. My fiction has been translated into Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Hungarian, and Turkish. My articles on writing have appeared in numerous publications, such as Writer’s Digest and The Writer. I’m a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award (and have been nominated three other times as well), I’ve won the HWA’s Mentor of the Year Award, and I’ve been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award (twice), the Scribe Award (six times), and the Splatterpunk Award (once). In the fall of 1999, I started teaching as full-time tenure-track professor at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, and after this semester, I’ll have only seven more years until I can retire from teaching with full benefits.
(If you’d like more specifics about my career, you can hit my website at www.timwaggoner.com)
So when I realized it’s my fortieth anniversary of setting out to be a writer, I thought I should write a blog to commemorate the occasion. I had no idea what to say, though. “I’ve written a hell of a long time and published stuff that some people read and liked. That’s it – let’s hit the bar!”
I thought about how I see people come into the horror writing community, become an active part of it for a few years, then vanish. I’ve seen this pattern over and over. But I’m still here. Maybe, I thought, I might be able to offer some tips on how I’ve managed to stick it out all these years. So that’s what I decided to write about.
So here – in no particular order – are some tips that might help you get through the long haul.
And above all . . .
Want to hear how other writers have made – and survived – the long haul? Then check out these books by veteran authors!
DEPARTMENT OF SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
Planet Havoc: A Zombicide Novel
Review copies of my forthcoming novel Planet Havoc: Zombicide Invader are available at NetGalley! I’d appreciate it if you’d give the novel a look and leave an honest review: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/245927
Speaking of reviews, early ones for Planet Havoc have been good, and Jonathan Maberry was kind enough to read an advanced copy and provide a blurb!
“PLANET HAVOC is the best of all worlds –space adventure, military SF, snarky humor, and zombies! Tim Waggoner brings the pain and all the jolts in this rollicking action horror thriller!” – Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of the Joe Ledger thrillers and KAGEN THE DAMNED
Planet Havoc is due out in April and is available for preorder. Here’s a synopsis:
Scoundrels and soldiers band together to survive the onslaught of alien-zombies spreading across the galaxy in this riotous adventure.
A deserted R&D facility tempts the hungry new Guild, Leviathan, into sending a team to plunder its valuable research. The base was abandoned after a neighboring planet was devastated by an outbreak of Xenos – alien zombies – but that was a whole planet away... When the Guild ship is attacked by a quarantine patrol, both ships crash onto the deserted world. Only it isn’t as deserted as they hope: a murderous new Xeno threat awakens, desperate to escape the planet. Can the crews cooperate to destroy this new foe? Or will they be forced to sacrifice their ships and lives to protect the galaxy?
We Will Rise
In Echo Hill, Ohio, the dead begin to reappear, manifesting in various forms, from classic ghosts and poltergeists, to physical undead and bizarre apparitions for which there is no name. These malign spirits attack the living, tormenting and ultimately killing them in order to add more recruits to their spectral ranks.
You can preorder the book here:
Flame Tree Press: https://www.flametreepublishing.com/we-will-rise-isbn-9781787585249.html
Barnes & Noble Paperback
Barnes & Noble Hardcover
A Little Aqua Book of Marine Tales eBook
WANT TO STALK ME IRL?
Here are the cons I’m planning on attending this year.
Stokercon. Denver, Colorado. May 12-15, 2022.
World Fantasy Convention 2022, New Orleans. Nov. 3-6, 2022.
WANT TO STALK ME VIRTUALLY?
Want to follow me on social media? Here’s where you can find me:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZEz6_ALPrV3tdC0V3peKNw