This past decade was when my childhood dream of becoming an author became reality. I began the 2010’s with a manuscript of a fantasy novel, and ended it with 5 published books. Here’s a glance back at some key events:
2010: Went to Paris in April, and Disney World in August. Learned to ride a motorcycle. Finished drafting and revising my alt-Old West fantasy novel Dragontamer’s Daughters.
2011: My older daughter graduated high school, and started college. I shopped around DTD with literary agents and publishers, looking to publish it the traditional way. Started drafting Lost Dogs.
2012: Visited the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the NFL HOF, and Chicago in the summer. Started this blog. Published DTD independently, in two volumes. Continued Lost Dogs.
2013: My older daughter spent a semester in France: she loved it, but as a parent, it was hard to put her on a plane for the other side of the world. We met up with her in Germany for spring break. My younger daughter started high school. I kept working on Lost Dogs.
2014: My estranged father, whom I had not seen in 36 years, died. My family and I went to Italy. I finished and published Lost Dogs, which became a big hit with dog lovers.
2015: We spent part of the summer at the Outer Banks with our neighbors. My buddy Patrick and I published Our Wild Place, a children’s book. I re-released DTD in a single volume, and started drafting This Wasted Land.
2016: I continued work on TWL, and turned 50. My older daughter graduated college. In February, my family and I went to Iceland, and it became one of my favorite places on Earth. In December, we went to another favorite, London.
2017: TWL was taking much longer than I had expected. My older daughter finished graduate school, and my younger daughter graduated high school and started college.
2019: Went to family weddings in Germany (in May) and Daytona Beach (September). Published Hand-Selling Books, a non-fiction guide for writers. Commissioned a new cover for Lost Dogs, and started developing its follow-up, Stray Cats.
Along the way, we made and lost friends, human- and four-footed. There were illnesses and struggles. The kids have grown up, and Joni and I have grown older. Sometimes, the writing has been easy: most of the time, it has not.
That was the 2010’s, a good decade, overall. As for the 2020’s, I’m looking to write more books, more often. So, what’s ahead?
First up, obviously, is Stray Cats. It’s not a direct sequel to Lost Dogs, more like a spin-off. Its main character is a cat that appears in LD, as well as in TWL, and the story is nine interconnected adventures across various times and places.
Stray Cats will introduce several characters around whom I intend to develop future books:
- Alley Kat, a high-tech superheroine from the near-future;
- The Scorpion–a fugitive assassin–and The Wolf–a warrior/shaman–who roam the wilds, relying on their swords and wits (and some magic) to brave monsters and villains;
- The Fighting Tigers, an army of far-future interstellar soldiers who battle alien horrors such as the saurian Kurindans.
Of these, it will probably be the Fighting Tigers up next after Stray Cats. I created the Tigers as one of my armies for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K game, and for the last 20 years, I’ve been chronicling them at the Jungle. It will be very easy to strip them of any GW trademarks and develop more fiction for them, which will, methinks, make the Jungle Fanboys and Fangirls very happy.
I intend to publish Stray Cats later this year, so if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work! But before I go, here’s a peek at the cover:
Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young. In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.
Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons! With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature. Kenton also published Hand-Selling Books to help authors better their sales.
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