The Long Resolve

JLS_2839Back in 1981, I made a New Year’s resolution to write a book. More specifically, a fantasy novel. It would be my first. If it was also to be my last, I would nonetheless die a happy man. That was what I told anyone who would listen: Gimme one, just one, and I’ll be content. After all, I’ll be a writer.

Four years later, that book was published. It was called The Hammer and The Horn. Four months after that I delivered the sequel to my editor at Warner Books. I was on my way.

But I had a new goal, one that seemed unattainable but was all the more appealing for its unattain-ability. I was going to write 100 books in all. Sounds greedy, considering I’d been willing to settle for one back in ’81. And prideful, definitely prideful. But then, a man’s reach should always exceed his grasp…or, I mean really, what’s a heaven for?

100 books. Certainly, I wouldn’t be the first. But it would take a lifetime. And so it began…

HammerandHorn-cover2-e1375275609760After my first four books came out, my agent hooked me up with editor Dave Stern at Pocket Books, who almost derailed my life’s plan when he turned down my first outline. But he liked the second one, so I was back on track.

In the years that followed, I wrote some 35 Star Trek books. Not just novels, either. The nifty, compact, and eminently useful Star Trek Federation Travel Guide? That was me (though, to be fair, the idea came from editor Margaret Clark). The beautiful and impressive coffee table book New Worlds, New Civilizations? Me again (as before, with a helping hand from Margaret).

I also wrote the adaptation of Batman & Robin, the autobiography of Hulk Hogan, sequels to The Wolf Man movie and the Aliens franchise, a bunch of Lois & Clark novels, and a whole lot more. A few years ago, I co-founded Crazy 8 Press, which published my last two original novels and is currently re-releasing The Hammer and The Horn.

The total to date? 71 books. So just 29 to go–including I Am The Salamander, the book I’m working on now. The unattainable now seems strangely possible. Not a slam dunk, certainly, but it could happen.

And it all goes back to a New Year’s resolution 32 years ago.

To me, the weird thing about New Year’s resolutions isn’t when we make them–though picking an arbitrary date like January 1st rather than March 12th or September 29th is undeniably weird. It’s that we give ourselves a year to carry them out.

Some resolutions can’t be carried out in twelve months. Some of them take a lifetime.

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