I started out as a child. At twelve I began to write for fun, which I think is the only real reason to write fiction. I liked sitting at the desk in my room, pretending to be doing something worthwhile.
I wanted to be an actor. During high school I fiddled with 8mm film, and using my friends and siblings as actors I directed and produced a short piece called Operation Cowabunga. Good for a laugh. By the age of sixteen my dream was to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I left home for Los Angeles at twenty. By the kindness of some people I met in L.A., I was recommended to the Academy campus in Pasadena, and was accepted. The following two years changed my life. Though an education in theatre is not very marketable, the things I learned at that school have benefited me every day since.
While I was at the Academy I wrote my first novel. In longhand. I still had no idea I wanted to be a writer; all I knew was that there could be peace in living inside a story about someone else. After graduating from the Academy, I married and left Los Angeles. There were a couple of acting jobs, most notably two days on At Close Range, a feature film starring Christopher Walken and Sean Penn, and a TV movie starring Ann-Margaret. At thirty I decided I was getting old faster than I was getting famous. I’d kept writing, and about then I began a second novel. Gradually an inkling came there might be a possibility of becoming published.
On January 27, 1987 I bought my first copy of Writers Digest. For the next several years I wrote manuscripts, sent the work out, joined writers groups, and workshopped my novels with the Green River Writers in Louisville, KY. Seven years later I sold my first short story, Culture Control, to the now defunct Cosmic Unicorn. Then I was hired by the local newspaper, wrote actor interviews for Starlog Magazine, and some video sleeve copy for Fox Home Video. Meanwhile, though, I continued to write novels and novel proposals to send to New York. Twelve years, twelve completed novel manuscripts, and eight proposals for uncompleted novels after buying that Writer’s Digest, I sold a novel. Son of the Sword was lucky thirteen. Very lucky. Now I’ve published more than a dozen novels. My work has been published in six languages, on four continents, in five genres.
These days I’m enjoying the peace.