I tried to. I immediately sat down and wrote a novel, The Last
Brotherhood, which lies packed away inside a drawer. Although I think it
must have been better than NAN, it wasn't very good. I discovered that
writing the good stuff is hard.
I spent more years trying to do that. I worked as a bartender at night
to be able to have the time to write during the day. I wrote and I
wrote. Then I wrote a story, Shanidar, which won first prize in the
Writer's Of The Future contest. One of the contest judges, Robert
Silverberg, was editing a new line of books in addition to writing great
stories himself. He called me out of the blue to see if I might be
interested in doing a novel set in my Shanidar far future universe. It
was like God calling. I immediately said yes.
The resulting novel, Neverness, sold in England for what my publishers
cited as a record advance for a first science fiction novel. They also
said that I might possibly be the next Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov.
I just wanted to be David Zindell. I couldn't quite believe it when
Neverness edged out the work of big writers such as Dean Koontz on the
British bestseller list. I felt flattered when Neverness was shortlisted
for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and I was nominated for the John C.
Campbell Award for best new writer of the year. A couple of years later,
my second novel, The Broken God, was also put up for the Arthur C. Clarke
Award. Although I didn't win any of these, I came away with the I Get
To Keep On Writing Award. And that has been the absolutely best award of
I followed up my first two novels with The Wild and War In Heaven, which
completed my Requiem For Homo Sapiens series. Then I wrote the four
novels of the EaCycle: The Lightstone; Lord Of Lies; Blade Jade; The
Diamond Warriors. In working in this new genre of fantasy, I
rediscovered an old, old love.
Recently, I have finished two very different (for me) books. The Eros
Project is a very hot, very wild contemporary love story set in Boulder,
Colorado. And Splendor is a love story of another sort: it's an account
of my quest to find an elusive quality I call splendor. Among other
things, it's about my love of life and why I became a writer. For
writing, as it turned out, is what I feel I was born to do after all.