The first story I can remember writing was an enchanting holiday tale called Jax the Christmas Mouse Who Saved Christmas and Also Had Rocket Boots. I don’t remember why Christmas needed saving but it must have been pretty serious if it required rocket boots in order to get the job done. I was young at the time—six or seven, maybe? I can also remember another early story involving Earth being saved from an alien scourge by a gang of misunderstood, albeit well intentioned, teenaged bikers.
I suppose my point is that, where many writers can identify the exact moment when the light came on and they just knew that was what they wanted to be—I cannot. And the reason is simply because I’ve been writing for almost as long as I can remember. That and if my stories were any indication, my childhood was fraught with peril. It wasn’t, of course. Not really. The truth is just far less interesting. Not that my childhood was by any means boring, that’s not what I’m saying, it’s just that the town I grew up in was so rarely beset with pirates or monsters or intergalactic robot bounty hunters that for a kid who was allowed virtually no TV (to this day I wonder why we even had one) I had to make do with my imagination.
The aforementioned childhood took place in Weston, Massachusetts. I went to school there. It’s where I learned to ride a bike and throw a baseball. I am a proud Wildcat of the class of ‘89 where I along with a group of friends performed a bring-the-house-down cover of Def Leppard’s chart topper, Pour Some Sugar on Me for the senior class talent show. In fact, to this day I cannot hear the words, “love is like a bomb” without responding with an ardent, “baby, come on, get it on.” Luckily it is a rare occasion nowadays when those particular words are uttered in that particular order.
The latter part of my childhood was spent at Wheaton College where I studied English Dramatic Literature and Theater, which perhaps begs the question, why on Earth wasn’t I studying Creative Writing? After all, it wasn’t like I’d lost interest. Quite the opposite, actually, it is what I did whenever I was supposed to be doing something else. What had happened was that I’d read an interview with one of my favorite authors at the time and in it he’d said something like, “the worst thing an aspiring writer can do is take a creative writing course . . . .” and that was it for me. I immediately eschewed all but the bare minimum of writing courses required to graduate. Which, hindsight being the way it is, I don’t recommend. I want that to go on record. It’s hard enough figuring out what you want to do with your life so when you do, you should learn all you can, however you can, regardless of what anyone says.
I’m still writing, obviously, and yes—much of it is still done to avoid doing something else—mostly the icky grown up stuff.
I’m a dad and husband. I have younger brother who lives in Los Angeles and a dog named Grace who thinks she’s people. My Pandora stations include 80’s Alternative, Psychobilly, Folk, Speed Metal, Goth, Punk, and Ska. I watch way too much TV but I also read a lot. I am a zombie purist much to my wife’s chagrin. And it’s not because she subscribes to the newer, more flexible zombie mythos, either—she just thinks the whole thing is irrecoverably dorky.
But that’s me, I guess—an irrecoverable, sometimes insufferable dork.
An intergalactic robot bounty hunter.