I started my career as an avid reader. My quest was to discover God and the secrets of life, to learn everything I could about the world around me. With such lofty goals, I have read everything from Milton's Paradise Lost to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. While my cup was filled with the knowledge of countless writers, I learned many practical lessons from ranching and dealing with life and death on a personal basis. However, my most illuminating experiences came from my career as a junior high school teacher. Channeling the raw emotions and hormonal outbursts of young adults who are testing their limits, who act like a child one minute and an adult the next, stimulated much thought about the human condition. I learned as much from them as I hope they did from me. When NCLB stifled my creativity and freedom to teach, I quit to write.
I always yearned to be a writer. It wasn't until I left teaching that my mind became unencumbered emotionally enough to do so. In writing my first novel, A Benwarian Fix, I learned that writing is thinking. What word do I use here? How would this character react in this situation? How do I describe Victoria Falls? Where do I take the plot from here? And so on.
After receiving two professional critiques of my writing and my wife's not so gentle reminders, I internalized the fact that it's about the story and the reader and not about some glorious message I want to impart. As anyone reading this knows, a writer isn't a writer without a reader. Did I mention I know how to state the obvious? I write with the reader looking over my shoulder.
I went to college for six years to get a four year degree in education. I took classes because I was interested in them. I have B.S. degree in education, and ended my career as a Special Education teacher in the Gifted and Talented program. In my curriculum I taught eighth graders to use Greek and Latin roots to decode words. That skill has been invaluable in my brief writing career.
If I am to succeed as a writer, it will be because of my greatest asset, my creativity. I see things in strange and unusual ways. In my writing, I apply that creativity to my story plots to make them interesting. I love science fiction because it allow one to bend the laws of reality to reveal reality.
My goal as an author is to be unpredictable, to keep the writer guessing and reading to find out what will happen next. I pray to the creative muse that I succeed.
I am deeply concerned about the environment, overpopulation, resource depletion, prejudice, governmental malaise, viruses, scientific experiments on animals, and climate change. These issues are explored in the Benwarian Chronicles.