Who am I?

The short answer is…I’m just a guy. I work in Information Technology. I have a wonderful family made up of my beautiful wife and three children. I love cheeseburgers, ice cream, beer, drums, and rock music. I daydream a lot, and sometimes I turn those into writing.

But you’ve come for something more, haven’t you? Very well. Read on.

I am someone who has always possessed a love of stories. I’ve never limited myself to a particular storytelling medium: Books, film, television, theater, music, video games, a particularly interesting sunrise, it’s all inspired me and fueled my desire for the tales that make us want to further ourselves both individually and as a collective people. My love of the story began at a young age with the movies that took me away to far-off places. I would absorb so much of the experience that I could often recite the tones, inflection, and voices of the scenes in perfect mimicry. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had an almost eidetic memory for movie trivia. Needless to say, this allowed me to become a pretty mean competitor at “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, and I’ve got friends who will never play “Scene It” with me again. Ever.

As a teenager, my close friends introduced me to role-playing games. For those of you born after 2000, I’m not talking about the ones you load up on your Playstation or XBOX. No, this was the old-school, pen-and-paper grandaddy of them all: Dungeons & Dragons (please reserve any and all nerd jokes for the end of the program). I was instantly hooked. Here was a medium that allowed my friends and I to not only experience the stories which often entranced us, but to shape the events of the tale as we went along. We were no longer just bystanders, but players in every sense of the word. It was glorious.

Not long afterwards I began to get actively involved in community and school theater. I quickly became a “drama brat” and dedicated all of my creative energies to stage performance. This lasted throughout my junior and high-school years, and it was the most fulfilling personal experience I’d had to date. I’d found my calling, and planned to purse acting full time after graduation.

I can’t say what exactly caused me to lose my desire for performance, but by the time I was nineteen I decided to give up the dream. It would be an understatement to tell you that I was more than a little lost. I still had the need to express myself creatively, but the way in which that expression manifested itself had changed. Let me explain. I believe that all people with an imaginative or creative streak are fundamentally the same. Our creations all come from the same place, that indefinable chamber deep within ourselves where the most amazing ideas can spring up out of nothing. The only difference is in how we communicate our ideas: Painters do it with images, musicians do it with sounds, actors do it with voice and body language, and writers do it with the written word.

So there I was, needing to fuel my creative engine but not knowing how to continue on from something that had carried me for so long. Then, one fateful night, a friend of mine unwittingly came to the rescue. Isn’t that always the way?

We were hanging out, just being young and killing time, and we happened to get on the topic of a character I had conceived. It wasn’t much, only a few sentences’ worth, just a little bit of information on the character and an unusual thing he could do, but the idea was solid. My friend said five little words that would change everything: “You should write that down.”

Light bulb.

I hadn’t ever considered writing before, but this simple decree from my life-long buddy ignited the spark that was soon to produce an explosion I could not have anticipated. My engine needed fuel, and he had replaced the tank with a nuclear reactor.

Now, before we continue, I should mention another event, one which would have a profound impact on the kind of writer I was to become. The very same friend that was responsible for kicking my writing arse into high gear had one day given me a novel to read. At that point I was already well on my way to becoming versed in the classics of science fiction and fantasy, but this particular story was fairly new to the scene and I hadn’t heard of it yet.

That book was The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

Oh my. Oh, the glory! My addiction to this series called The Wheel of Time wasn’t immediate. In fact, I had to restart that first book three times after only getting about halfway through the first chapter; the details were just too much for my young brain to get a handle on. However, just as I had learned to absorb what was taking place on the big screen in my local movie theater, so too would I come to absorb everything contained within those numerous pages. Mr. Jordan had opened the door to his world and I gladly walked through without ever looking back.

I mention this because, as I sat there in front of the computer a week or so after my friend told me to put my idea to the page, unsure of where to begin and with no formal training to speak of, I subconsciously turned to Mr. Jordan’s words for inspiration. His voice spoke true within my head, showing me the way. Weeks went by, the story began to take on life, and I quickly realized that Robert Jordan hadn’t just inspired me, he’d taught me everything I know about writing. Lucky for me he’s so good at it.

The years passed (lots of them), and eventually I was able to complete the first book of The Galactic Grail Saga. Many, many revisions later I had what I felt was a book worthy of publication, along with a bunch of other ideas that I knew were going to make their way into completed story form at some point down the line. One of these, Caeli, you might have on your e-reader as we speak. If so, I hope you enjoy it. If not, consider picking up a copy. You just might be entertained.

My road to publication, like everyone, has not been easy. I tried the traditional route: sending out query letters, submitting to contests, and waiting months for a response only to get summarily rejected. I was bummed, to say the least, and I kept thinking that there had to be a better way. Another friend was responsible for turning me onto the  eBook self-publishing lifestyle, specifically by way of the beautiful people over at Smashwords. Here was a medium in which I could get my work out there almost immediately, and without the need for me to take out a loan using my soul as collateral. I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

Well, that pretty much catches you up. I thank you for taking the time to learn about lil’ ol’ me, and I wish you many hours of happy reading. Feel free to drop me a line sometime. I’d love to hear from you.

gg