We all have our Writer’s Journey and it’s different for everyone. Although I thought of this story idea in my teens, it wasn’t until 2008 that I actually began to seriously dream of being a published novelist. To be there three years later, is still unbelievable. Here’s the Acknowledgements from my first novel, reprinted here because these people all deserve so much thanks. In this case, I just don’t have words.
The idea for this story came to me when I was a young, fifteen-year-old science fiction fan living in a small Kansas town where it sometimes felt like dreaming was the only way out. Over the years, I lost my original notes, but the idea in my head and the names Xalivar and Sol stayed with me.
It took me twenty-five years to start writing it and I wrote daily through some of the toughest trials I’ve experienced in my life. So this book you hold in your hand is a victory in many ways, and I’m very excited and proud of it and hope you’ll enjoy it and share it with others.
Thanks go first to Lost Genre Guild for inspiring me to try writing for Digital Dragon and to T.W. Ambrose for encouraging me to write more space opera stories, and then agreeing to publish them. An abridged version of the prologue to this novel first appeared in Digital Dragon’s May 2010 issue.
Secondly, thanks go to fellow authors like Blake Charlton, Ken Scholes, Jay Lake, Mike Resnick, Leon Metz, Jason Sanford, Moses Siregar and Grace Bridges who have supported, encouraged and advised me time and time again, no matter how silly my questions were or how many times they’d heard them before. Special thanks to Blake and Grace for taking time to read and offer more specific advice to help me grow as a writer and to Mike Resnick for advice in figuring out this crazy business.
Thirdly, thanks to first readers and friends like Larry Thomson, Tim Pearse, Jeff Vaughn, David Melson, Todd Ward, Mike Wallace, Andrew Reeves, Chris Zylo Owens, and the members of the FCW-Basic Critique Group for actually seeming to enjoy my writing even in its roughest form and for giving me feedback which helped me to improve it greatly.
Fourthly, thanks to friends like Charlie Davidson, Aaron Zapata, Mark Dalbey, Nelson Jennings, and Greg Baerg, who, along with some of the guys above, have helped me escape from behind the desk and keyboard and laugh a little bit when I needed it.
Fifthly, thanks to Mitch Bentley for actually reading the book before creating the awesome cover art. And thanks to Randy Streu, Jen Ambrose, Paul Conant and Darlene Oakley for their editing and advice, the El Paso Writer’s League for encouragement and fellowship, and Mike Wallace for the science of the Boralis solar system. Thanks also to Jeana Clark for the solar system map which brought it to life for me.
Thanks to you, the reader, for taking a chance on a new, unknown writer. I hope you like it enough to come back for more.
Thanks to God for making me in His image and giving me the talent and inspiration to do this and continually opening the doors. I look forward to seeing what’s behind the next ones.
Let me add a few names of people who weren’t mentioned but would have been at this point if I wrote that today, including blurbers and others who’ve supported me so much: Mitchell Bentley (what a cover–sorry, I meant to add you in!!!!), Maurice Broaddus, Saladin Ahmed, Jaleta Clegg, David Lee Summers, my parents–Ramon & Glenda, whose thanks comes in the book’s dedication, Jamie Pearse, Sarah Hendrix, John H. Stevens, Kaolin Fire, Lee Gunter, Louis B. Shalako, Michelle Ristuccia, Shaun Farrell & Adventures In SF Publishing, Kevin J. Anderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kat Richardson, Sam Sykes, Patrick Swenson, Eric Reynolds, Johne Cook, John DeNardo, Charles Tan, John Ottinger, Lyn Perry, Mike Ray/RedstoneSF, Anthony Cardno, David Rozansky, John A. Pitts, Brian Knight. I know I’m still forgetting someone, but at least this is a better list.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novel The Worker Prince, the collection The North Star Serial, and has several short stories forthcoming in anthologies and magazines. He’s also the host ofScience Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter, where he interviews people like Mike Resnick, AC Crispin, Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. He can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Excerpts from The Worker Prince can be found on his blog.