The long road to here ...
I have been passionate about the written word since I got hooked into books when I was a young child.
Writing my own stories also began when I was a young kid, as short essays in my English classes at school. In my spare time, I rewrote those essays into short stories and enjoyed expanding the narratives and descriptions.
At school I attracted attention by being the only kid in my year, perhaps the whole school, to actually produce a book. It was really a kind of super-long-short-story about a family of five living in Newcastle. A nuclear war happens right when the family are scattered miles from each other around the city. At that time, during the mid-1980s, there was a lot of paranoia about the threat of World War III and my first book attempt owed a lot to this paranoia and watching apocalyptic dramas like Threads on TV, along with movies like On the Beach, Virus and World War III. I called my super-long-short-story Limited Time and it was complete adolescent shit! I had a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting that published, but my English teacher said that it spoke well of me, showing that I was serious, committed and productive to say the least.
When I was a kid, clacking away at my manual typewriter with two fingers, with the ribbon ink fading and the bottle of correction fluid getting emptier by the hour, I never imagined that one day I would buy my own computer and be saving my work on discs and CDs.
I have experienced the same frustration and knock-backs as most writers the world over.
This didn't put me off being a writer, but it did move me to look in different directions to market my work.
I knew that there had to be another way, all I had to do was find it.
In my late teens, sending out my short stories to agents and publishers, often waiting months for a reply, then getting the usual mass-produced rejection slips, I thought that I wouldn't have this problem if I owned my own publishing house. In one way I can understand the problem and the pressures agents and publishers face: there are millions of writers and only a few agents and publishers in comparison. The logical solution to this problem is to create more publishers.
Then I came to the conclusion: if not ME then WHO? ... and if not NOW then WHEN?
I hope in some way this serves to encourage, reassure and offer solace to other writers, especially those who are starting as I did - as a young kid.
Chill out and be prepared for a journey, maybe even a long journey.
Most writers don't publish until well into adulthood and by that time your style and 'voice' will have matured and evolved to be something very different.
If you have taken the journey ... then stay on the road. You may get to where you want to be faster than I did.
Just remember: be patient ... be persistent ... and NEVER GIVE UP!