Omnimystery presents guest post by Bruce Holbert on “Writing a Late First Novel”

“Recently I was asked in an interview, ‘What took so long?’

I am a 52 year-old publishing his first novel. I don’t have the data at hand, but my guess is I am fifteen or so years beyond the mean.

The question struck me as impolite. I wasn’t sleeping in doorways or staggering through a drug induced stupor those years (although that would have made for an interesting answer). I helped raise three children with whom I’d rather spend time than most any adults; I navigated a quarter century of marriage with fairly happy results: I excelled (by others’ accounts) in a teaching career. I bought a house and sold one and bought another: I participated in Cash for Clunkers; I obeyed the Patriot Act (or at least what I knew of it): I stopped on red and went on green, paid taxes, drove on the correct side of the road, used credit in moderation, avoided smoking in no smoking areas, honored my parents, avoided felonies whenever possible, and I kept writing. That’s a pretty full life, it seemed to me.

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