When I was a boy, I thought I had no interest in writing. I was the math guy, the kind of geek who liked to extract square roots just for the fun of it. I wanted to do brain surgery, find the Abominable Snowman and climb Mount Everest - all on the same day.
I also loved to read. Book after book, year after year, completely unknown to me, the desire to write sparked to life inside me and gradually grew into a flame. One day, after I finished a science fiction book I call NAN - the Nameless Awful Novel - the flame suddenly flared as hot as a little sun because I decided that I could write something better.
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 all. 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; Black 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.