About Gloria Oliver
So, you clicked on that link, did you? Hm.
I was born in Puerto Rico in 1964. Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States set in the crisp blue Caribbean Sea. It’s a small island, about 50 miles wide and 100 miles long. It’s in the tropics. So, while I had seen snow on TV, I never actually got to experience any until we moved to the continental US in my teen years. (First time I experienced real cold for the first time, too. Brrr!)
I spent time in Ohio, Texas, New Hampshire, then back to Texas again, where I’ve been ever since. (The images are not to scale! Lol. Texas is a big sucker.)
I started writing in my teens to get a couple of ideas out of my head where they wouldn’t bother me anymore. But I didn’t get into it full time until after I was married and met a wonderful group of people doing an Amateur Press Association on a Japanese cartoon called Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets in the US.) Not only did the individuals in this APA talk about the show, but they also wrote stories about the characters. Once again, I was bitten by an idea and attempted to put it to paper. It was pretty abysmal, but thanks to the enthusiasm and encouragement of one of the members (Yes, Wendy, this is all your fault!) I kept at it.
Between the members’ comments and Wendy’s never-ending patience, I slowly honed the craft and learned things from it as well. (Weirdly enough there are things about writing you don’t notice or can’t learn unless you’re just doing it!)
Thanks to an idea sparked by my husband, I wrote my second novel. (The first, which I’d started back in those teenage years, and which, I’m embarrassed to admit, got sent to some major publishers back in the day, has been hidden away somewhere where it will not soon see the light of day. Yes, before I got a real clue, I’d sent out one of those awful manuscripts you always hear about, the kind that gets touched with tongs and quickly returned from the slush pile. I am sure the readers sending it back wondered why I ever bothered to mail it in the first place. Sigh. It’s hard to see one’s problems in the writing especially when first starting out.)
After many revisions, some beta testing (thanks again, Wendy!), a short stint with an agent, some close bites, and waiting, waiting and waiting (yes, trying to sell your writing requires a ton of patience!), I finally realized I was getting nowhere. It was time to get over my shy inhibitions and do some networking!
And it paid off. Going to ConDFW here in Dallas, I was able to go to several panels and hear a lot of stories from newcomers and old pros. It was an eye-opening experience. And while I don’t discourage anyone from doing so, my original thought that unusual works would sell better to the big boys. But I learned there that in actuality this wasn’t the case anymore. However, do NOT try to become a cookie-cutter writer because of it, just try to understand it might take a little longer to sell something genuinely original. Readers will be happy if you hold out, keep at it, and put it out there. Just be aware it will not make things easier. 😛
Anyway, I made a couple of peripheral contacts at the convention — meaning I met some people from afar and checked out their websites. (Yes, I’m quite shy! I hate encroaching on people. But if we ever become close, watch out!) 🙂
Through several coincidences, I ended up keeping an eye on Jeffrey Turner and Yard Dog Press. From their news pages, I learned about Zumaya Publications. I sent them sample chapters and the synopsis for three manuscripts I had in the queue (No, not that first one! It’s still hidden away) and they accepted both In the Service of Samurai and Vassal of El.
Since then, I’ve sold a few short stories and been included in some anthologies. Zumaya also accepted and published four other manuscripts — Willing Sacrifice, Price of Mercy, Jewel of the Gods, and Alien Redemption. Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles got picked up by Hard Shell Word Factory and Inner Demons by Mundania Press. So I have eight published novels with more on the way! (I also have a novelette named Charity & Sacrifice published by Uncial Press.) (You can see a full list of my published works here.)
I had to learn all sorts of things once my novels were accepted — so not only have I continued to polish my writing, but I also had to learn about marketing and generating sales! A lot more work than writing books, let me tell you! Whee!
And what do I do in my spare time? (I have some?) I read (very important if you want to write), I write (yeah, this one too), go to the movies, read Japanese manga (comics), watch Japanese anime, and attempt to destress from doing accounting — my RL work.
I’m a proud member of both: