By 2010, I had mostly given up on traditionally publishing the Senta and the Steel Dragon books. I entered the Voyage of the Minotaur in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, and though it made it to round two, it was very disappointing. I was very unhappy with the feedback I got from the publishers who were evaluating the books for that contest. Some of the criticism was valid, but some I felt was very mean and some was just incorrect.
I decided to publish it myself and did. I also decided that Senta and the Steel Dragon shouldn’t just be a trilogy, but a series. The three books I had written (as one long one) took place three to five years apart. I thought I should write books to fill in the void. So my original three books became:
Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 1: The Voyage of the Minotaur
Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 3: The Drache Girl
Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 5: The Two Dragons.
The titles were fairly easy. The Voyage of the Minotaur is exactly what most of that book is about. It’s also a bit of a tribute to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Likewise, The Two Dragons featured two dragons, and was a bit of a tribute to The Two Towers. Of course, when I later revised it, I added a dragon so there are more than two dragons in the book. But then, there are more than two towers in The Two Towers. The hardest title was the middle book. For a long time, it was The Sorceress’s Apprentice, but my wife thought it might be confused with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I like The Drache Girl as a title, but I might reuse the original in a later book.
I sat down and wrote Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 2: The Dark and Forbidding Land. It was a real challenge making it fit between two already completed books, but I think it worked well. It is one of my favorite books I’ve written.
I finished it and published book 2, then revised book 3 again and published it.
I also decided that I would write a quick and short little prequel and so Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 0: Brechalon, was done.
I started in on a book very much in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs called The Jungle Girl. I got about a fourth of the way in and just lost focus.
In the meantime, I was playing a lot of Rock Band on my Wii. This inspired a story that just popped right out of me, seemingly without much effort on my part. It became Tesla’s Stepdaughters. Originally the band in the story was named Tesla’s Stepdaughters. I later changed it to The Ladybugs, so I had to come up with something to explain the title, so Tesla’s Stepdaughters became a song The Ladybugs sing.
So, I had five books published in 2010, and I started having visions of dozens of Wesley Allison books or even scores. It was then that I created a new goal for myself: write as many books as Edgar Rice Burroughs before I die. 23 Down, 61 to go.
I spent the last part of the year working on His Robot Wife, a book that I had high hopes would sell well, due to the popularity of His Robot Girlfriend.