In a right handed world I'm a left handed man, so I see things a bit backward. And, when the people in my head tell me about their day, I record what they say. Some call me crazy, but other writers understand.
First, and before anything else, I’m a storyteller. My skills at writing are subject to opinion, my punctuation has been called interesting, at best—but I am a storyteller.
I am, of course, many other things. In seven decades of living, there are great numbers of things that have attracted my attention. I am, for example, an electrician. Not quite as good as my father, who taught me the skills, but still, I can usually please those whose homes I've improved.
I'm an engineer, one who has designed computers and computer systems; one of which—during the bad old days of the cold war—flew in the plane designated as our President’s Airborne Command Post—the Doomsday Jet.
I've spent seven years as the chief engineer of a company that built bar-code readers.
I spent thirteen of the most enjoyable years of my life as a scoutmaster, and three, nearly as good, as a cubmaster.
I joined the Air Force to learn jet engine mechanics, but ended up working in broadcast and closed circuit television, serving in such unlikely locations as the War Room of the Strategic Air Command, and a television station on the island of Okinawa.I have been involved in sports car racing, scuba diving, sailing, and anything else that sounded like fun. I can fix most things that break, sew a fairly neat seam, and have raised three pretty nice kids.
Once, while camping with a group of cubs and their families, one of the dads announced, “You guys better make up crosses to keep the Purple Bishop away.” When I asked for more information, the man shrugged and said, “I don’t really know much about the story. It’s some kind of a local thing that was mentioned on my last camping trip.” Intrigued, I wondered if I could come up with something to go with his comment about the crosses; something to provide a gentle terror-of-the-night to entertain the boys. The result was a virtual forest of crosses outside the boys’ tents. That was the event that switched on something within me that, now, more than twenty years later, I can’t seem to switch off.
Stories came and came… so easily it was sometimes frightening. Stories so frightening that one boy swore he watched my eyes begin to glow with a dim red light as I told them (it was the campfire reflecting from my glasses, but I didn’t tell him that).
Then, someone asked for a copy of one of my campfire stories, which brought me to the word processor. When that was finished, I wondered. Could I write something other than technical articles and campfire stories? Something with dialog?
“Something with dialog,” when completed, led to: Can I write in the first person? Do an adventure? A romance?
Having finally sold a few novels (five to date, the latest to Double Dragon) plus a handful of short stories, I am living proof that if you work at something for long enough you will eventually get it right.
Philadelphia, PA USA
April 2010 was a busy month. At the beginning of the month Double Dragon Publishing said yes to, As Falls an Angel. Then, near the end of the month they said yes again, to A Mermaid's Dance, which is the first volume of a six volume trilogy titled, The Sisterhood of the Ring. I am definitely psyched.
Currently in editing, and soon to be released from Double Dragon E-Books is Foreign Embassy:
Fifteen year old Ron Gibson was there with his scout troop on the day the Talperno ship dropped out of the clouds and set up shop on the grass by the Washington Monument. In fact, they very nearly landed on Ron and his fellow scouts, as their ship, a fifty story concrete office building, touched down. Stunned, but raised on a diet of science fiction and adventure movies, the boys march through the front door and become the first humans to meet the Talperno visitors.
They, it seems, are friendly and talkative, and they integrate quickly into human society. They are more than happy to share their culture and political viewpoint, but will tell the human scientists nothing about their gravity technology—the heart of their superiority—insisting that it’s humanity’s job to progress on their own as a kind of entrance exam for membership into the galactic community.
Now, a decade later, the Talperno have integrated themselves into human society, and one sees them everywhere.
Now, years later, Ron has become a writer, and is researching a book on the visitors. His quest for data leads him to South Florida, and to beautiful Patricia Scott, whose xenophobic father may have discovered the chilling secret of what the Talperno really have in mind for humanity. Now, all Ron has to do is gather the evidence needed to convince the government that things are not as they seem. But, in order to do that he needs to survive, and that doesn’t seem terribly likely.
Donald Tyson answered an improbable ad. Now, he’s a wizard, and sells magic over the counter like toothpaste, providing invulnerability and perfect health at reasonable cost. Business is brisk, as you might imagine. But who will buy a car when a magic carpet is cheap and doesn’t need fueling? Who needs doctors or hospitals when no one ever gets sick, or hurt? Soon, half the world is unemployed. That’s bad. But soon, too, dictatorships will vanish, and that’s good. How do you oppress people who can’t be hurt, and who can jump on their flying carpet and cross oceans at will?
Miles Grant, Presidential Science Advisor doesn’t believe in magic. As far as he’s concerned it’s all a plot to conquer the Earth. As more amulets are introduced, and replace technology, that technology will be lost, leaving the Earth defenseless when, and if, the amulets are turned off. For Miles it’s a race to save humanity.
But who could guess that the future of humanity depends on a single question, one that Donald Tyson, alone, must answer?
A bit of fiction. A bit of writing advice. And, a bit of grumbling and muttering.