So You Want To Know
About Me, Eh?
I was born an Air Force brat in
a hospital on Lakenheath AFB in Lakenheath, England near Mildenhall.
While I was still but a wee baby, my father was shipped back to the
U.S.A. where I grew up primarily in Albuquerque, NM.
After graduating from High
School in 1984, I struck out on my own and sowed some oats and
learned the hard way that without a college education, I was going
to be looking at some low pay for a long time. I won't bore everyone
with the details of my job history. Suffice to say that I've worked
a few places and learned a few skills.
I graduated from the University
of New Mexico in 2003. I could have finished in 1997. I won't make
excuses. All I can do is advise everyone out there to attend college
if possible and get their degree early as they can. And be sure to
stick to it, even when times are tough for you. Best investment
you'll ever make.
Ok, to the writing part, which
started with reading. I began reading books at an early age, showing
not only an aptitude for it but a desire. I tended to gravitate
toward fantasy and sci-fi novels. Of course like all hungry readers
who enjoy such tales, I gobbled up The Lord of the Rings. Through
the years I've enjoyed novels by authors such as (to
name a few) Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Stephen King, Tom Clancy,
Robert Don Hughes, and many others too numerous to list here.
In 1983, a friend introduced me
to the wonderful world of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I was a
junior in High School and couldn't wait until the middle of the day
so I could spend my precious 30 minutes of lunchtime playing. Soon I
began to create and run my own games fleshing out a world called
Irith--which I drew in colored pencil on several pieces of graph
paper placed side-by-side to show the maps.
I created adventures for my
players based upon material I created for my imaginary world, and
they seemed to like it very much. The number of people who would
attend my games on a consistent basis over the years told me that I
could not only run a good game, but spin a good yarn as well. So
naturally I wanted to write something in a more formalized manner.
the early 90s, I wrote a short
story about a not-too-pleasant fellow who found himself recruited to
become "Death" by someone who had himself been recruited long ago.
It was a simple little story about how undesirables over history
have been forced to do the horrible work of death as pennance for
their discretions. I wasn't trying to bring down the house at that
time, nor did I have visions of becoming a well-known writer making
millions. I simply wanted to write a cool Halloween tale that might
get a chuckle out of my Dungeons and Dragons gaming group. They
I attended many creative
writing classes in college and got favorable responses from those
who read my work. I wrote a twenty-chapter book that was EXTREMELY
rough. The story revolved around a character I created called Torin,
a young monk raised inside a monastery where unwanted children were
left anonymously. I completed it about 1993 but made the fatal error
that so many have made in their young computer-using careers--I
failed to back up my work and lost it all due to some bad disks. I
was not a happy camper.
In 2001, I wrote a short story
called Disease, which I'll post soon for you all to read. I
entered it into a national contest and received a nice letter
thanking me for the submission but nothing beyond that. I wasn't
really discouraged. I knew that writing and breaking into the scene
would be hard work and at the time I had other priorities, so I
didn't pursue it any further.
As it so happened, life got in
the way. Excuses, excuses. After graduating from UNM in 2003, I
found myself concentrating primarily on work. I kept the concept of
my story rattling around in the back of my brain but didn't really
do much about it aside from some weak attempts to kick start the
writing process again.
I really started pecking away
at the book in 2006 when I began work with my current employer, the
name of which I will not mention. I won't speak too much about my
work. Today, too many people are fired for speaking their mind
online or elsewhere. I may sound paranoid, but I've seen it happen
too many times to dismiss it. Anyway, I started working on the story
with Torin as the protagonist and got pretty far before realizing I
was painting myself into a corner.
I was writing what I considered
to be a good tale, one that would appeal to readers. What I failed
to consider was the big picture. I wanted the story to unfold over
several books but was moving too fast too quickly with the character.
I had to stop and reconsider things, which sucked because I was over
70,000 words into it at the time. What I did notice, though, was how
I was not only only thinking about the story but actually working
on it with regularity--still without the kind of regularity that was
needed by someone seriously considering becoming a published author.
I kept pecking away at my
revision here and there, but again without consistency. I sat down
and had a long think about the whole affair. I had been pissing
around with this concept for nearly 25 years with little to show for
it. I had to decide whether to you-know-what or get off the pot. Was
I ready, willing and able to write a book that others would enjoy
and--dare I dream--buy? If the answer was yes, it was time to really
and truly find out. If not, I needed to move on and apply my
interests into something fun and constructive. I decided to give it
a real try and put in the time and dedication required to know if
this was my game.
So I got after it. I began
reading up on authors who had been generous enough to publish books
detailing their thoughts on the writing process and how they arrived
at whatever point they were within the biz. I found that there quite
a few things that I already knew (seems I picked up more than I
thought over the years piddling around with writing and researching
about the subject). That's not to say I didn't find some valuable
information to put in my tool box. I realized that having knowledge
and skills is one thing. The dedication is a great deal of the
I dedicated myself to writing
on a daily basis, even posting an inspirational quotation above my
computer. It paid off. Roughly a year after I knuckled down and
treated this as a daily exercise that might someday become a full
time job, I finished the manuscript. I've received positive
responses from my test readers and am now working the social aspect
of self-publishing aspect of the process. This website is one of
those aspects. I'm aiming for January 1, 2013 for the release of my
book to the public for purchase.
I'll post something about the
mechanics of the craft from my perspective in the near future.
By the way, here's Clucky,
my li'l African Gray nipper!