Writing in several genres, most of his work is Fantastic in nature, and spans from Military Science Fiction to Epic Fantasy. As a California native, B. V. Larson’s stories often take place on sunny beaches and in cities such as Las Vegas.
In this guest post from Larson (no podcast, unfortunately), he details the process that has resulted in a prolific writing career and millions of downloads of his work from Amazon.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Early on I figured it out. I was about seventeen when I wrote my first short stories. I was quickly hooked.
What was the first thing you wrote that you thought might be good enough to be published? Was it published? If so, when, where, and by whom?
I sold a number of short stories, maybe twenty, before I landed any book-length deals. About half of those were paid pro sales, the rest were freebies in various “for-copies” small press mags. I was under the impression my stories were great right from the start (day one) so I sent them out and started collecting my 1000+ rejections as a teen. My first stories were never published (still aren’t, not even self-pubbed, they aren’t something I would show off!) But after about five years of writing stories and a few starter novels I began getting published. The oldest novel of mine that can be found now is “MECH 1” which was written way back in the early nineties when I was just starting.
What was your first published work? Did you submit your story directly to publishers or did you get an agent? Tell us about your experience with that process.
I submitted things relentlessly for many years. Although I sold short stories before the kindle era, I never sold a novel to anyone until KDP allowed me to self-publish in 2010. I did get several agents and a few deals (which all fell through) in fiction before 2010, but my real success was in non-fiction. I have a computer science college textbook series that is going into its fifth edition now, and is still in print. That was my first serious publication, and I landed the deal back in 2000.
How did you handle rejection then? How do you handle it now?
No one likes rejection. But I’ve always handled it pretty well and kept on slogging. At this point, I’m the one turning down offers from publishers, rather than the other way around. Essentially, rejection is a thing of the past for me. It’s a nice feeling, but I suffered through about twenty years of disappointment and hard work to get here.