Hi! My name is Gail and I publish under my own name, K.G. McAbee; I've been writing seriously for just about four years. In that time, I've had six novels and a short story collection electronically published, as well as thirty-five short stories in both print and ezines. My genre of choice is fantasy, although I also write science fiction, horror, and a bit of romance—one of my published novels is a Regency (I'm a serious history buff) and one is a Gothic (I also love mysteries).
Although I have always been a voracious reader—a necessity for a writer, I believe—I first decided I wanted to write when I read Dangerous Visions, the short story anthology edited by Harlan Ellison. I was dazzled by Ellison's passion for the craft of writing and decided that I wanted to do something in my own life that I could embrace so enthusiastically. It took a while, however; I spent some years working in the electronics industry (my degree is in industrial electronics) and just wanting to be a writer. I had tried, off and on over the years, to write while I worked at a full-time, swing-shift job, but I was unable to accomplish very much. Finally, I decided that if I really wanted to become a writer, I had to put all my time and energy into it; it was a matter of 'If not now, when?' and 'I don't want to be on my deathbed saying I really wished I'd given my dreams a shot'. I decided to throw myself on the mercy of the Universe, so to speak; I took an enormous leap of faith, quit my job in April of 1997 and gave myself a two-year deadline to publish something.
Now, there I was—living off my savings and writing my fingers off. For eighteen months, I collected an impressive array of rejections. My two-year deadline was looming like a tidal wave in front of me. Then, late in 1998, I sold my first short story, a fantasy entitled 'With Murderous Intent', to that magnificent Canadian sf/f magazine Challenging Destiny. Early in 1999, I placed my first novel with Starlight Writer Publications, Escape the Past (which went on to win the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence from Reviewers International Organization). Next, my short story 'The Scent of Gardenias' won first prize in the Writers' Journal fiction contest. Then, that message came from the Universe—yeah, I know, I'd already had plenty of other messages from her, but this one meant the most. On the second year anniversary of the very day I quit my job, I received contracts on two more books.
Well, I can take a hint, especially when it hits me over the head like that. I'm supposed to be a writer, and I'm glad I finally had the courage and the support to find that out.
So, for the past four years, I've been writing and selling my work. A Fine Impersonation, my novel from Abby the Troll Publications, LLC—Abby's first publication, by the way—was just honored as a finalist in the Eppie Awards, given each year by EPIC, an organization of electronically published writers, editors and publishers. My short story collection, Cast Away the Works of Darkness, also from Abby the Troll, is getting good reviews.
As for the future…well, I'll just have to see what the Universe has in store for me next. But I'm pretty sure it's going to have something to do with writing.