My Publishing Journey by Bryon Vaughn – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My Publishing Journey

My journey to publishing my first novel, Neurogarden, was long and circuitous. It began in the 90’s while I was studying English Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. I devoured the canon of lit like a wild animal, Chaucer, Dante and Shakespeare to Salinger and Nabokov. I read the deep cuts, too, not just the most popular. I wanted to learn it all, and the vigor of youth does have its benefits.

I studied creative writing under well-renowned professors, poets and authors like Gary Soto, and Maxine Hong Kingston. All the while, I practiced my craft writing short stories in my favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy and horror. Back then, the only way to get published was to print and bundle up your work into a manilla envelope, complete with a return postage if you wanted your manuscript back. Each story would get sent to a magazine editor to spend weeks or months on a slush pile, with a terse, “Thanks, but not for us” typewritten form letter. I would then send it to the next editor. Rinse and repeat.

After nearly a year with no success, I was so starved for something to keep me from scrapping the whole endeavor, the day I received my first hand-written rejection letter was like a gift from the heavens. It still said “no,” but somebody took the time to write it out, and the final word, just above the signature was “Onward!”

This went on for many years, and while I had some success with getting my stories published, it was clear to me that this was not going to be my career. I was paying my bills with a job in technology, raising a child with my wife, and though I can’t remember exactly when it happened, I stopped writing.

I locked the dream of sharing my stories with the world into a box deep inside my brain, and got on with the life that I was building. It wasn’t until one evening in class at Columbia University over twenty years later that the box burst open, and the muse returned. That old feeling of having a story that simply must be told seeped from it, flooding the synapses of my mind and triggering my old creative self. I started Neurogarden the next day.

Nearly one year later I had a polished manuscript ready for the world to love, tear to shreds, or more likely something in the middle. Remembering the traditional road to publication, and the effort it took to get to this point, I knew that self-publication was the route for me. It didn’t hurt that I have spent the last six years helping my wife publish and market over 30 romance novels. I was confident that I could make a go of it in the very competitive indie author publishing space.

We will see how this all turns out, but as I type this, I have regained that optimism that youth and education afforded me back at Berkeley, and I have every reason to believe that this is only the beginning of the next leg of my journey. Onward!

Where can you run when there is no place to hide?

Brenna Patrick is a brilliant technologist specializing in neural-cognitive functions and AI. She has cracked the code to solve one of the most troublesome problems in the field, and turned that into the multi-billion dollar NeuralTech Corporation.

Working quietly with the U.S. Department of Defense, NeuralTech is poised to leapfrog the competition with a revolutionary system for tracking people, starting with the world’s most wanted terrorists. But there are only so many terrorists in the world, so who’s next?

When a pair of Columbia graduate students, Jenny and Leo, stumble on the dark secret of NeuralTech’s success, it kicks off a tense game of cat and mouse. As they fight to defeat the powerful forces arrayed against them, nothing less than the fate of humanity hangs in the balance…

NEUROGARDEN is a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, one that will have readers pondering the nature of memory, and of reality, long after they’ve read the last page.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Every morning for Brenna Patrick began with a hot shower and a hotter cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the same oversized mug she had stolen from a cabinet while studying at Oxford. Some poor British sod probably spent days looking for his ever so clever black-and-white yin and yang mug, and now, here, it played a part in the daily rituals of the world’s most renowned expert on artificial intelligence.

Halfway through her coffee, Brenna’s usual routine of morning news about the weather or the latest political storm was interrupted by a story on the previous day’s event at NeuralTech.

“According to sources, yesterday, in an impressive display of technical wizardry, the notorious Ethiopian strongman, Azim Dibaba, was eliminated by the U.S. military in partnership with NeuralTech. Stay tuned for exclusive video footage from the NeuralTech facility coming up after the break.”

With a dismissive wave of her hand, the television powered off, and she downed the last of her coffee. Explicit rules about keeping cameras from the Observation Deck were put in place to stop this kind of leaked footage, not so much to keep it a secret, but to control how the message was released. There was no way NeuralTech would have built such an elaborate display of lights and gadgetry if the world was never going to see what they were doing. The fanfare was all a show, a carnival for the masses to distract from the visceral heart of what they were witnessing. Hell, they used to run the ops from a small conference room in the basement of NeuralTech HQ with two laptops and an iPad. The spectacle was created for virality, but she wanted the first glimpses to be better than some shaky cell phone video from a reporter behind glass.

About the Author:Ever since reading Douglas Adams back in my formative years, I have had an interesting relationship with humor, science fiction, and technology. My first computer was a TI-99/4A, so yeah, I’m old, but only until scientists have cracked the code on transplanting our brains into shiny new vessels.

My body may be showing signs of wear, but I’m keeping my brain tight.

When I am not dreaming of far off worlds and writing, I am living a semi-normal life working in New York City, and watching movies with my wife and her spastic cat, Moss.

Website | Facebook | Instagam | Twitter

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Victoria Alexander says

    Very cool cover, thanks for sharing!

  3. James Robert says

    Your book sounds like a great read and thank you for sharing it with us.

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