About a month ago, I realized that my first e-book, “The Stories of My Computer - Terra” needed an upgrade. It was originally published as a web-based e-book and it was just fine for reading in a computer browser. However, times have changed and the variety of mobile devices require a format adaptable to screens of any size. And thinking about the time, the “then” and the “now”, suddenly it hit me: “There’ve been 20 years since THEN!...”
I messaged my dear friend and publisher, Gary, who couldn’t believe it either. 20 years!... And I surprised him with a second edition, a responsive one. I will not go through all the story about what this e-book meant and how it made internet history. You can read all about it in its foreword or introduction. Right now, I want to speak about something else, about how this e-book came to be written.
When “The Stories of My Computer - Terra” came out, some readers believed that I must have written it under the influence of mind-altering substances. That cracked me up because the only thing I ever smoked in my life was tobacco, I hardly ever drank any alcohol and as far as drugs are concerned, I always knew better, so I stayed away from them.
Nature gifted me with a rampant imagination which gave me a great advantage compared to any other television writer with the entertainment department. I was known as the one to go to when someone needed anything written both well and overnight, even if that meant an entire show. And all I needed were coffee and cigarettes to keep me awake from midnight, when I was getting the call, until 8 am when I was driving with the script, at the studio.
When it comes to writing (which, by the way, is not what I enjoy doing most for a living), I am mood dependent. For example, I write poetry when I’m sad (which rarely happens) or in love (although I don’t fancy myself as a romantic but rather as the erotic or philosophical kind of poet). When I’m happy I write humor... And I write lyrics or any other kind of prose when I’m neither happy, sad or in love.
I started “The Stories of My Computer - Terra” in a time when I was both in love and sad because I was miles and miles away from my beloved and with no chance to meet him anytime soon. Plus, I also had other things going on that were not making me jump with excitement. You know, one of those moments when you feel like the Universe is playing a bad joke on you... And, yet, this book turned out as a humor novel. You may think this makes sense, but...
At the time, I had all the reasons in the world to publish a poetry volume. First, I had to impress my romantic interest. He was already impressed by my poetry but I wanted to prove myself in his eyes, even more. Love knows no boundaries... And, second, I had had a bad experience with a publishing house where the editor-in-chief kept giving me a runaround, bad vibes, and kept demanding a lot of changes that made no sense. Overall, he was acting weird, in spite of the fact that I was already a published and even an award-wining author, plus a television household name. And I got so disgusted with his innuendo that I decided to drop the publishing of my poetry for a while... And that “while” was now over because I had found the best way to reach the whole planet. The e-publishing industry was emerging to change the world! I was more excited than a 3-year-old ready to take Thomas the Train for a ride.
But I got so excited that, when I sat down at the computer, instead of translating my poems from my native language into English, I started writing a whole other book. I felt so liberated by the idea that I had no more editors in chief and other inflated egos telling me what and how to write breathing down my neck, that I was no longer in the mood for poetry. Ideas were pouring from my mind into my fingers, while I was typing. Most likely, that made me more happy than in love and sad, because a humor novel came out of this in record time and with hardly any corrections afterward. The image of Goliath giving a gigantesque finger to the old sketchy publishing house passed through my mind. And I felt sooo revenged...
So I felt happy and liberated on the top of that. For me, this was a first timer and let to a couple of unusual things. One, I wrote this book in a style that was nothing like my usual one and, two, I also wrote it in the first person. Actually, I was never a fan of writing in the first person, as not everyone knows to make the difference between the creator or the interpreter and the character they create or play. But because I wrote in the first person, I also involved people I knew, in my intrigue. And then I let my famous imagination do all the rest. The fantastic situations unrolling freely in my head put us all in a light that hardly had anything to do with our lives, how we really were and what we were doing. But, despite my comedic fabulation, everyone involved was thrilled and happy to have inspired the characters in the book.
And now that I clarified this, I’m getting ready for another cup of herbal tea.