Cyrus Colter began writing short stories as a hobby in 1960. In 1970, he collected several stories into a manuscript and entered a contest at the University of Iowa. He won; his collection of stories was published and received several awards. This success prompted the publisher to ask him for a novel. In response, Colter produced his first novel, The Rivers of Eros. His life as a writer changed. He wrote no more short stories but produced several more successful novels.