I had a sobering thought this morning, confirmed by a quick check of the c.v. that I egotistically keep up to date (and have never published): My first piece of non-legal writing, an article on Sherlock Holmes and wine, appeared in the Baker Street Journal in June 1994, 20 years ago. There are 24 completed books on the list (some not yet published), plus another 19 that I self-published. There are seven more published collaborations, and I’ve contributed essays or introductions to another 18 books. 46 essays have appeared in various periodicals, including Playboy, but most have been published in the BSJ. I’m especially proud of a “streak” of 16 years of appearances in the BSJ (I missed 1996 and 1997, for some reason, though I had five essays appear elsewhere in those years). I’ve uploaded the list for the curious. Klinger Writing
I’d like to think that during those twenty years, I’ve continued to do other important things: I practice law full-time, working hard for my clients. My five wonderful children have given us six grandchildren (so far), and I try to make time for all of them. I teach classes at UCLA Extension on Holmes and Dracula (so far). I love to cook, and I squeeze in a little amateur magic, and I indulge my addiction to computer role-playing games. I served as Chapter President of the SoCal Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and sat on the National Board of Directors for more than 4 years, and I’m immensely proud of that. I currently serve as the Treasurer of the Horror Writers Association, and we’ve made great strides, thanks to a wonderful president and vice-president. I’ve also taken an active role in various capacities in the Baker Street Irregulars, helping where I can.
There’s one vital component to all of this: A loving and very supportive wife. I blame Sharon for starting me down the writing path, when, way back in 1994, I said to her (as I was wont to do), “So, what are our plans for this weekend?” She said something like, “You know, you have all those damned books on Sherlock Holmes–why don’t you write something?” I thought about that idea, and so I did. The rest–well, it’s not history, but it’s been grand fun.
Where do I find myself today? I’m very proud of the books and pieces that I’ve written, not because they’re particularly brilliant, but because it gave me great pleasure to write them and they seem to bring pleasure to those who read them. I’ve loved meeting so many readers, and I treasure the friendships that I’ve formed with so many writers, many of whom I idolized long before I met them and some of whom I idolize as a result of meeting them! My life is so much richer thanks to Sharon’s little push. I can no longer imagine a life without writing, and I have so many to thank for it.
On to the next twenty years!