Like many fantasy authors, I was introduced to the genre when I played my first game of Dungeons & Dragons. It was during a family camping trip in May, 1980, and while my two friends and I sat inside a travel trailer rolling dice and fighting orcs, the air outside became gritty and hard to breathe. It was permeated with the fine grey ash spewing out of Mt. St. Helens which was erupting just sixty miles to the north.
I now live in western Oregon in the shadow of another active volcano, Mt. Hood.
Writing has always been a source of easy enjoyment for me, especially as a kid. I wrote a lot of creative short stories, often with a fantastical bent (I’m real fond of dwarves and dragons), and played a LOT of Dungeons and Dragons up until my early 20′s. I was most often the Dungeon Master, so I spent a great deal of time in creative pursuit of the ultimate adventure. At one point I figured out that for every hour of actual game play, I would have spent 20 hours of writing and preparation. It was like having a part-time job, and I loved it.
I’ve written in a lot of genres other than fantasy, along with my fair share of technical manuals and other boring categories. That’s a big part of how I pay the bills, actually. In the early 90′s I produced a successful newsletter, The Time of Day, and then in 1994 I realized dead-tree editions were not the way to go … the future was the Web! I had been working professionally as a programmer since I was 16, so taking up HTML — it still had that new car smell! — was easy enough. Soon my web site garnered the attention of some big-name publishers and I was asked to write, “Learn HTML in 7 Days.” (I turned down the gig; they wanted 7 days worth of 8-hour lessons — there simply wasn’t that much to HTML and I refused to fill it with fluff.)
I decided to be my own publisher and created a series of computer support and training manuals that I sold to local book stores, computer shops, and to my students. Did I forget to mention that I started a computer training company?
Writing has been an essential part of every personal and professional endeavor I have undertaken. As my friends will tell you, I’d rather write a long email than pick up the phone and make a quick call.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. It is intended to chronicle my experiences, triumphs and challenges as a novelist. I hope my experiences, trials and triumphs will help my readers in their writing endeavors.