Am I Still a Rookie?

Right now I am hard at work on fourth novel “Summer Camp of the Dead” and I was hit with a confounding question.

Am I still a writing Rookie?

I have been doing professional work in one form or another since 2007. With two novels published and receiving decent reviews, a Third ready to go on the first of May, and being neck deep on a fourth I think I have done a lot of the leg work that a real writer needs to do. I have been paid, not well but paid, in real money for the work I have done.

I tried to go the traditional route of getting an agent and then finding a publisher for more than two years before I said fuck it. Now I self publish my work through my own small press publishing company and I have to say there is a deep feeling of satisfaction knowing that I am captaining this ship. I hire and pay editors and cover artists. I have multiple projects going on at this very moment. I am busier and happier than I have ever been in my entire life.

But does that all make me a veteran or am I a kid playing games?

Do I need the validation of an outside publisher buying my stuff?

There are certain publishers I would love to have acquire my stuff. And there are things going on behind the scenes that may one day lead to that but I am treating that as something that may happen but is not relevant to my current course of action.

I think I have paid my dues.

I think I take my craft seriously.

I know I would do this even if I was not being paid.

So when do I start believing that I deserve to be here. When do I start to believe that my creations are as valid as anyone else’s?

At least I am happy.

- Josh


Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books ( and Third Eye Games ( before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press ( I also work for Fat Goblin Games ( In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!