I've held tons of jobs, from radio DJ to car salesman to stand-up comic. But, growing up, I'd always wanted to be two things: a firefighter and a writer. Besides my first authorial moment in 2nd grade, when the school newspaper published a short story of mine, it wasn't until I was sitting at a bank job, bored out of my mind, that I got the idea to start writing professionally.
It started with short stories. Horror, I decided, would be my schtick, and I did manage to have a few of my stories published in anthologies. In those days, I didn't want to submit to any market that wouldn't give me the joy of holding the finished product in my hand. So, I probably screwed myself out of many opportunities to sell to online e-zines. But I made a lot of friends and contacts in the industry, and even became an associate editor for Dark Recesses Magazine. Reading slush taught me more than I could have learned on my own.
One day, I got a call to become a professional firefighter. Boyhood Checklist Item # 1 - Check!
Then, I got away from writing. I didn't "walk" away. It was more like falling asleep in a boat and finding yourself out to sea and wondering if you left the oven on. Firefighting and working out became my life.
Not long after, my son, Owen (pictured above) entered my life. I took an entire month off to help with baby duties, and found myself with some free time. One night, I picked up my wife's copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and thought, God, I love books. Why did I quit writing? And I could totally write a novel!
So, I did. Then I wrote another and another, discovering my voice was more SFF.
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