My first book, Prison Earth - Not Guilty as Charged (Black Rose Writing, January 2010) won a finalist position in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for science fiction.
My second book I self-published through Create Space. My primary reason for doing so is that though my first book received no promotional help from my publisher, I had to pay a higher cost for each book I wanted to sell myself. If I was going to do all the work, why give them a piece of the acxtion?
I'm an avid reader and writer, though lately mostly writing. The biggest influence on my writing is my writers group, Red Moons, led by author Jessica Maxwell (Roll Around Heaven). Like any great athlete, natural ability gets you only so far. With the patient guidance and constructive criticism from others a good writer can become a great one.
My major challenge to date is promoting my book, as small publishers have no budget for such things, and so many promotional doors are closed to those of us who publish through small publishers or self publish. I am curious to learn how other authors are getting the word out, and how readers learn about the books they end up reading.