Back in December, I promised to reveal a significant update about myself. I anticipated doing so soon thereafter, but circumstances beyond my control delayed the announcement . . . until now! So here goes:
Today I am happy to announce I have become a full-time writer! For those of you who do not know me personally, I had a dual career for almost nineteen years: I worked as a full-time professor and as a writer in my limited free time. As of January 2021, I dropped the professor role and will concentrate on my writing. I am so very excited about this massive change in my life, though as with almost any narrative, the backstory contains both good and bad in bringing me to this moment.
This change came about because I and a number of my colleagues were laid off despite having tenure. The journey to this event contains a long and complicated story. In a nutshell, I can tell you that the institution for which I worked became more conservative and released a gaggle of faculty to better align its people with a new mission. While I never wanted to leave on these terms, its new direction and I would have been incompatible, anyway. And thus I found myself on the chopping block but not necessarily despondent about the situation.
Perhaps my last paragraph leaves you wondering how on earth I could follow up with good news?! Well, Paul (my husband) and I had a plan in place for me to retire from said institution and devote myself to my writing full time within the next three to five years. We intended to go in this direction because I sensed the changes coming to my place of employment and because I have so much writing in me that I wanted to concentrate on- I needed time to get these stories out of my head! While I adored teaching and loved my students, my life more and more called me in a different direction. While a bit earlier than we intended, we figured out that we can institute the plan immediately, and so we shall!
Part of the time I will continue to write academic history. I write my fiction under a pen name, my academic history under my actual name. If you’re interested, google David E. Settje for those works. My last two manuscripts came out from New York University Press. In the past, I had to keep the two identities separate but can now let you all know the relationship between David and Damian.
I will dedicate most of my time to the business of writing my fiction as Damian Serbu! I want to concentrate on better marketing and outreach to readers, which I admit is not my strongest area. I should have more space and energy to do so now, as well as the time to research best practices and expand in this area. And I hope to crank out my stories even faster than before! Writing what I do and how I do it means I really don’t make money as a fiction writer. I hope to alter that reality a bit, not necessarily by making millions but by at least making a bit of profit from time to time.
Life threw Paul and me a curve ball in December. I know now the universe was telling me something, the universe wanted to push me forward. Thank you for indulging a narcissistic mini-biography today. I appreciate your listening.