Used to be, dude'd write a novel, lose the manuscript in a burglary, or burn it in an angst fit. Forget anyone besides Aunt Myrna ever reading it, either. But social media and print-on-demand have spawned viral lit (in the good, non-H1N1 way).
See, these authors are just like us. Stay-at-home moms, beat cops, quirky alt-journalists, bloggers of coffee-table humor gleaned from Internet memes -- throw in a self-directed work ethic and we're so there. Like Steven Maus, a home-schooled dweeb from the East Valley (not that there's anything wrong with that) whose second fantasy novel, Madeline City and Other Tales, is more historical and a bit less fantastical than his first, Branchwater, which has sequels on deck already. (Peep Maus' style at www.stevenmaus.webs.com.)