Yesterday, yesterday I should have made an announcement here.

I apologise that I did not. Social media, conversations with friends, proud boasting, these things occupied my time and attention.

So the announcement shall be made today. My work is vindicated. I am allowed to speak.

I was published yesterday.

I still can’t get over that thought.

I was published.

A lifelong dream, held, cherished, scrunched tight within my soul emerged into reality, realised, fully formed.

I am now a writer, not just a blogger, not just a Captain of Chickens.

I am now Joe Parrino, writer.

Beyond that fact, beyond that vindication comes the fact of what has been published, what will continue to be published (Emperor and Editor willing).

My name is Joe Parrino and I am a writer for the Black Library.

That may not mean much to you, but to me it means everything.

Ever since I was a young child, I have read the works of William King, Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, since that fateful day I strode into Powells and found a copy of Trollslayer, Necropolis and Storm of Iron.

I was lost, lost within visions of a bleak future, of camaraderie, betrayal, all the things my young self wanted to read, to write.

Last year a friend of mine did the impossible. He won the lottery on my behalf with a selfless act. I was floored, astounded, shocked, honoured.

Then came the response, the response that left me stunned and ecstatic by equal measures. I could scarce sit still when I heard the news and yet, at the same time, I could scarcely cease moving.

An editor contacted me, asking for my work, asking for more.

It felt surreal, writing about the things that I had always read, that I still read.

I was no longer going to be a passive observer, I would contribute, add, create.

My first short story came months later, as I stumbled through pitch after pitch, striving, and not achieving. Finally one broke through.

The words flew from my mind and onto the page.

Then more came. I was asked for more and the dream deepened, became more real with every passing day.

A new story was commissioned, a new premise introduced. It was challenging to write for a subject with which I was scarcely familiar, with a viewpoint I had never before considered.

Yesterday that story was released. Yesterday I was published. Yesterday I was vindicated as a writer.

Yesterday a dream came true, burst forth from the aether, into reality, made manifest.

It is the first. It will not be the last.

My name is Joe Parrino and I was published yesterday.