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Kerry Nietz is the author of Amish Vampires in Space (October 2013), Amish Zombies from Space (May 2015), and 

Amish Werewolves of Space (October 2019). He wrote this today in the Realm Makers group on FB:



Hi Realm Makers friends! I have two pieces of advice for you, on this Writer Wednesday!

Well...actually, three.

First and foremost: No matter what route you take with your writing career—whether you plan on writing the next American classic, or the one millionth tie-in to your favorite science fiction series, be prepared to stick it out.

Occasionally it comes easy, but usually it takes time. Lots of time. So, if you don’t think you can write your sixth novel, only to have it never be read by anyone, then find yourself another hobby. Writing isn’t the thing for you.

Remember, Joseph of the Old Testament was in prison eleven years before he became a leader. Plan on at least that. Writing in darkness with rats and poor food. Watching other people win their freedom. But you stay and write. And it really, really smells.

Mastering perseverance is my overarching advice. If you can’t hang in there, you can’t do this.

If you want to make money at this gig, do what everyone else is doing.

Sounds simple, I know, but it is a lot harder than you think. If you want to make a living as a writer, find what markets are really selling, study how those writers write, and start writing. Again, perseverance is key. You must be diligent.

And you may end up writing things you don’t particularly like to write. You may find yourself writing about horses and buggies. You may have to delve into forensics, science, or even zombies. But out there, right now, there is a genre that is selling like hotcakes. If you want to be monetarily successful, the easiest path is to find those genres and get to work. However...

If you want to have fun as a writer, do what no one else is doing.

Follow your heart, test the boundaries, and try things that everyone else thinks is silly. This is the key to a different kind of success. It is the story of my writing career, in fact.

I write Christian Science Fiction. The definition of “niche market.” In fact, “Christian” and “Science fiction” are two circles that rarely connect. You won’t find a section for it at Books-a-Million.

Even within that small circle, though, I’ve traveled some unfamiliar paths. My first novel, A Star Curiously Singing, is about a bald techno-slave in a world under sharia / Islamic law. It was written in first-person present tense at a time when that POV was uncommon. (ASCS was published within a month of the Hunger Games novel. After that, there were A LOT of first-person present novels.)

Regardless, that book—and the series that followed—still moves me when I read it. I’m happy with it. And if reviews and awards are any indication, it has touched other readers too.

My other series is the epitome of rule breaking. Amish Vampires in Space started as a joke, but I saw it as an interesting mental challenge. Could I take three seemingly unrelated concepts and produce a cohesive story? I was happy with what I wrote, and my publisher and beta readers were too. That would’ve been enough for me. That right there is success. (Three times over, if you include the sequels!)

The year AViS released was exceedingly fun. Mentions in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. An article in the Washington Post. A mention by Dave Barry. Tweets from around the world. And to top it off, a fifteen second backhanded compliment by Jimmy Fallon, with my book sitting on The Tonight Show desk. Did I become a New York Times bestseller? No. But it was an amazing opportunity to connect with lots of people, discuss my stories, push myself—and with God’s help—expand by influence.

So, here’s my advice, writer: Be like everyone else, or be like nobody. But whatever you do, prepare to endure.


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I so needed to read this.😀


I was at point 1  - wondering what was the  point if no one was going to read it. Thank you Johne. 👍 That has been a real encourager.


I had heard of AVIS but not read it. He must have had a lot of fun writing it. I have enjoyed writing Hannah and just getting ready to start book 2 of my Amish series. They are fascinating people.

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I go for plan B. I am different from every one else, so if I write from a place deep inside me, I am guaranteed to write things that no one else can. I may not find money at the end of the line, but I will find out who I am.



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