Tireless self-promoter Larry Correia has turned his eclectic career path as financial defense contractor, arms dealer, firearms instructor, and freelance writer for gun magazines into a successful turn as the creator of the Monster Hunter series of urban fantasy books.

“I describe what I write as The X-Files meets The Expendables,” says Correia from his home in Utah, where he has written seven action novels in three years that now have 225,000 copies in print. After self-publishing his first book, Monster Hunter International, in 2008, Correia had to look no further for a publisher than Baen Books. At first, Baen published all of his books as original mass markets, but because of their success, it is now making them available in hardcover.

Last year Correia traveled to 11 western states to promote Monster Hunter Alpha in a book tour that added up to several thousand driving miles with his wife. The effort paid off, and the book ended up as a New York Times bestseller. Although he has also toured parts of the South, touting his books at Dragon*Con in Atlanta and LibertyCon in Tennessee, Correia has never been to the East Coast. “I’m really excited. And after BEA, I’ll tour the Northeast for the first time,” he says.

Correia’s enthusiasm and congenial nature have made him a favorite with booksellers and fans alike. He touts the vivid cover art on his books for their “pulpy” style, a throwback to the B-movie monsters of the past, and seems to have an innate sense of marketing for his work. “Baen pays for my book tours up to a point, but I always exceed their budget and pick up the extra costs on my own,” he says. Although it’s almost unheard of in publishing today, Correia doesn’t have a literary agent. “I worked with contracts all the years I was a financial analyst. ” And Correia’s career continues to build, with foreign sales to four European countries and one in Asia, and TV rights to the Monster Hunter books recently optioned by Entertainment One. He signs today, 11 a.m.–noon, at Table 1 in the autographing area.