My first book Kalius was published in 2004. I remember I was really proud of what I’ve done. But I have to be honest. The book is awkward, and it lacks style. I was only nineteen when I wrote it, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. Still the story is there. For me, Kalius does have something … healthy in its core. If nothing else it was the first step to more complex works, like Do Dead Men Dream? and Eye of the Snake. But there was one thing that always bothered me .
When I had a presentation for Kalius in my hometown (Slovenj Gradec), a woman in her fifties approached me and started a conversation. She congratulated me for the book and started talking about her friend who “is a real author, not someone who just makes things up. He writes real books, not stuff like you,” she ended the conversation. I don’t really think she wanted to offend me it was just that she for some reason wanted to tell me that fantasy writers aren’t actual writers. I had similar experiences later down the years. It didn’t affect me since I also wrote other genres. I used a joke through the years saying that I don’t consider myself a writer but a storyteller – which let’s be honest is what all writers are.
All I can say is that writing is hard work no matter which genre you work on. Most writers come home from work, maybe spend some time with family and friends and then work long into the night. It takes months even years to complete a book and then if you’re lucky some madman like yourself publish the damned thing. More often than not the dreamer goes into self-publishing and invests a few thousand euros, he’ll probably never see again. But ask any one of those dreamers if it’s worth it and I believe we all know what the answer will be 🙂