18. How long did it take to publish your first book?
It typically takes a year from delivery of the manuscript to my publisher before it hits the shelves ready for you to read.
But, again, I think that's not really the question you're asking. I think what you want to know is how long did it take for me to sell that first book I finished.
Here's some bad news. I never sold the first book I finished. I worked on that novel (Sidhe Promised) for four years. I put it through workshop/critique group; I sent it to a dozen or more agents; I entered it in contests. It never sold.
I still think it's a pretty good book, but it just wasn't the one that broke out. It's in my basement in a file cabinet. Taking the advice of Lois McMaster Bujold who I interviewed at an event at a Barnes & Noble, I started the next book while that one was shopping around. (Her point? It takes a long time for editors and agents to reject you, you might as well do something other than twiddle your thumbs.) So I started writing a science fiction novel I was calling "Dancing on the Head of a Pin" about some angels and a private detective.... it took me about a year and a half to write that one. It later became my first published novel, Archangel Protocol.
The process of what happened once I convinced an agent to represent me is chronicled in my alter ego's FAQ.