Why It Took Us 8 Years To Publish A Book

It's been a weird, complicated ride. It all started with fan fiction, and finally wound up with a publication, a media network, and many failed, awkward moments along the way.

Join David, Ben and Danielle as they wade through the history of our company, and how we came to publish a novel. You can read an excerpt and listen to the full episode below.

Sometime in 2013 we’d played a game of dungeons and dragons homebrew where we served aboard a skypirate ship. We went on many adventures in a strange steampunk D&D world. It’s similarities to my story now are fleeting, but some basic concepts existed: skypirates, some sort of eldritch pursuer, that was kind of it.

Regardless, the germs of an idea came together.

A world of sky ships. Scarcity. Unending pursuit.

I had many discussions with a friend in French class (I was a poor French student) about the mechanics of my world. About where water might come from on these great skyships, on these skycities where people lived. And over time a world shaped itself in my mind, and I continued to write it.

Over the next year I wrote 2 million words of story--I wouldn’t call it a story so much as… a lot of story.

Here’s a piece from those 2 million words by way of a tone setter:

“Maynard was determined to stay awake but as soon as he put his head on the pillow he was fast asleep. He dreamed violently. He started walking through an empty field, nothing in sight but waving hillocks of dust and rusted memories. A gust carried the grit across his vision. It was in his eyes, it cut against his skin and filled his pores. He hated sand. His footsteps were blown away even as his boot heels lifted from the ground. When he blinked he found he was standing on a ship. The wind tossed his hair about his brow, fluttered his coat and made him feel alive. He snapped awake, sitting up in bed.”

The story was far more confused tonally, and attempted to be mature without understanding what that meant.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. You can subscribe on Youtube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you catch podcasts. Please take a moment and review the podcast where you find it. It really helps.


ZeroIndent is an independent, reader funded publication. Consider supporting us on patreon to unlock exclusive content and behind the scenes info.

David McNeill

David McNeill is the author of Maynard Trigg and editor-in-chief of ZeroIndent. He's a dedicated storyteller with a background in literary analysis and comms.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.