The novel's name had changed to Starstrikers, which was the name of the Special Forces team in the story. The central conflict in the story was set in the middle of a galactic war that had raged for a thousand years. I started thinking about that concept while trying to come up with more stories to tell. I decided to pull a George Lucas and go back to the beginning of the war to write about how it started.
This is when I started to realize that there could be a total of nine novels in the series. Three trilogies, each set before, during and after the Great War. I decided to name each trilogy after the organization that the stories were about. So the Starstrikers were a Special Forces team. The first trilogy would be about how the good guy's Alliance started, and would be about a nascent military force and the politicians responsible for forming the Alliance. It would be called the Starforgers. The final trilogy would be about the peacemakers who brought about the end of the war. It would be called the Starveyors. I took the common element of each name, star, and called it the Star Saga.
Then I realized; holy smokes, I have to write eight more books!
About this time, self-publishing was moving into the digital age and ebooks were becoming a thing. I started to see that ebooks could have links in them and thus could be interwoven with pictures and definitions. That was still beyond the capabilities of ebooks, but it was doable with HTML and a website. So I built the first version of what would become Ken-McConnell.com and started linking the chapters of Starstrikers together with scanned images of all those drawings we made of ships and places back in Junior High. It was glorious, but mostly unseen by anyone. More time passed.
I decided to give the ebook thing a try and enlisted my brother to make a cover for me. He was a Graphics Arts major and could do cool things in Photoshop. I had some of my nerd friends proof the novel again and made the suggestions they had offered to improve the flow of the story.
Finally, I was ready to make Starstrikers into an ebook and put it up on a new site called, Amazon. There it languished for three months before I randomly checked my sales figures and realized it was selling so fast, the numbers changed each time I refreshed the page! Someone was buying my novel. Heck, lots of someones were buying it!
The ebook sold for .99 cents and made me a couple hundred dollars. Woot! But after three months of selling like gangbusters, the sales dropped off to nothing again. What happened? Research showed that my newly found readers had nothing else to buy after that one book. I needed lots of books to continue making money. Well, I did have eight more books mapped out. So I stared from the beginning and put my butt in chair and wrote. I also spent time learning how to write and attending writing conventions. I decided to focus on short stories and started creating characters and situations that were based on the very first short film my friends and I made in 1978.