Born in New York, I started writing late in life when I was 57 years old. After graduating from college, I spent a hitch in the Marine Corps. When I left the Marine Corps, I began a twenty-five year career as a software developer. I’d always enjoyed writing as a hobby, and when I retired I decided to give it a try.
My story-telling (I consider myself more of a story teller than a writer) began with a dream about a warrior defending a village from attack. The dream turned into Eskkar, a barbarian warrior hired to protect the village of Orak (much the way the ancient Romans used their Germans as bodyguards and mercenaries).
A few days later, another dream, this one much more pleasant, introduced Trella to the story. The challenge became figuring out a way for a girl with an IQ of 165 to survive and prosper in the early Bronze Age. Make no mistake, Trella is a tough cookie, but you won’t find her swinging a sword or using her fists, skills women in that time rarely possessed or utilized. Her weapon, and it is a very sharp one, is her brain and powers of observation.
Eskkar is a competent fighter and good tactician, but has no political, logistical, or people skills. Trella fills in those gaps, and her advice slowly turns her lover into a leader of men.
Throwing Eskkar and Trella together made for a unique couple in historical fiction, more than just lovers or fighters, a team with a shared vision who were able to take on their enemies both within and without. The result will be history’s first walled village capable of resisting barbarian might. This time, instead of an easy conquest, the hostile warriors will face a new kind of challenge. The conflict pits barbarians against Eskkar and Trella. If they are successful, they will take the first steps not only on the road to empire, but to civilization.
So what stared as a dream became a book. Five years later, Dawn of Empire, after multiple rejections and revisions too numerous to list, was accepted by my agent and sold to HarperCollins as the first installment of a two-book deal.
As for Science Fiction, I started reading Sci-fi back in the early Bronze Age. Even as a teenage reader, I always wanted to write a sci-fi story of my own. Jettisoned is an idea I had kicked around for years, and I finally decided to finish it off, polish it up, and get it out there.
Too long to be called a short story, Jettisoned is a true novella, and will give you about 90 minutes of reading time. Well worth the price of $0.99 cents.
And now the full-length SF stories, Sentinel Star and Earth Besiged are also out there in print and Kindle editions. They pick up the story begun in Jettisoned and lead to a planetary first contact story full of surprises.
More Historical Fiction: Malta’s Guns (2020)
This time we head to the 16th Century. The story revolves around the Great Siege of Malta, the most brutal siege in history. A young master gunner, Antonio, was born in Venice but raised in England. Now he’s asked to journey back to the place of his birth, to obtain gun-making secrets from the Master Gunners at the Venetian Arsenal. Before he can complete his task, he runs into danger from one of Venice’s ruling families. Chance puts him aboard a galley bound for Malta. There he is attacked and left for dead. At that moment, the Turkish fleet and land army arrives, and Malta is surrounded and under siege.
Antonio’s expertise with cannons soon brings him to the attention of the Knights of St. John, rulers of the Island. Before long he is directing the cannons that keep the Turks at bay. But even if he survives the siege, Antonio still needs to return to Venice and take his revenge on the man who nearly killed him.
And many thanks to all those early readers who helped critique the story, and those who still are willing to spend their time and effort to keep me going.
Sam Barone, Prescott, AZ