When I was about ten years old in Pittsburgh, my mother made the mistake of getting me the Hobbit from our local library. Despite my hesitation about a book with such a boring cover, I finally read it–and the world changed around me. I had caught the fantasy bug for life. The woods teemed with elves. The bushes along the front of our house became orcs, and they suffered for their heritage a hundred times over as I ran amok with my magic sword (featuring grey duct tape for the blade and black for the hilt).
I met science fiction through another classic work of art: Muppet Babies. As I watched the show, I noticed these incredible film clips of spaceships and aliens and laser guns blasting. One thing led to another, and pretty soon I came home from the video rental store with Star Wars Episode IV clutched in my hand. Despite my confusion over the Episode IV business (I wanted to see it from the beginning, darn it) my orcs and elves got sprinkled with a healthy dose of Darth.
Fast forward a decade. While for years I had loved roleplaying games and had read all the fantasy and sci-fi I could get my hands on, it never occurred to me that I should try writing some myself. At least until not one fateful night in the summer of 2003 when I found myself alone and unable to sleep. Without any premeditation I got up out of bed, turned on the computer, opened up a word processor, and wrote, “The man who now called himself Aeorick sat in silence, a half-emptied mug resting within easy reach of his calloused hands.” I leaned back and looked at it. Why not write a story? I thought. So I kept at it for about another hour, and went to bed with a head full of ideas.
I went about my early years of writing rather foolishly. Instead of taking classes, reading books on writing, or at least asking a living soul for a bit of advice, I launched immediately into attempting a novel (Short stories? Forget about it!). It took me about three years to recognize this as an ill-fated attempt, but I learned a lot along the way (and finally read some books on writing). Still not recognizing the merits of climbing among the Shortstory Hills for a while before tackling Mt. Novel, I began working on another book, albeit a much better idea. This carried me all the way through New Years Eve 2009, when I finished the rough draft. That novel had turned into a trilogy, and I realized that I had turned into a writer.
In 2010 I finally realized that I needed professional help, and I signed up for a year of writing classes at my school. This provided exactly what I needed–people who knew what they were talking about to tell me what I was doing wrong. I came out of that year with a leaner writing style, and a passion to get serious about producing.
Throughout 2011, my goal was to write and publish short stories, so that when the time comes to send my novel out I will at least have some publishing credits that say, “See, there’s a slight chance I might not be a complete hack.” So far so good, as they say, and as I remain in the throes of revising my novel in 2012, it is my hope that more of my little birds will come home to roost.
What’s that, you say? More about me and less about writing? Hmm, let’s see. I consider my home to be the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but right now I’m a full-time PhD student studying New Testament in Dallas, TX. I’m married to a better girl than I deserve, have three surprising kids (with number four on the way), and try to go kiteboarding whenever I can. You could learn more about me, my real non-pen name, and my family here.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about you!