Thinker of deep thoughts.
In fact, you've probably noticed it's getting deep in here right now....
J.M. Surra grew up near Chatham, NY, amidst a unique assortment of area writers, musicians, and regular folks.
Just a stone's-throw from the Woodstock area in one direction, and West Stockbridge in the other, his corner of Columbia County attracted any number of colorful and even bizarre characters, ranging from a bit unusual to the unapologetically flamboyant.
By their very nature, these hippie-based personalities encouraged use of imagination and flow of thought. Even so, J.M. vividly remembers one or two of his young friends refusing to play with him, claiming he "always told such big stories." Were they lies? Embellishments? J.M. gives shrug and a telling grin, and offers, "They were stories. What is fiction but well-told lies? Stories requires imagination, both the hearing and the telling. Some people have none. So, who did I feel sorry for; them or me? Here's a clue. The stories still haven't stopped!"
How did he learn to tell stories?
His steel-mill worker grandfather told him stories of Scotland and Ireland, the first world war, and taught him to speak with a proper Scottish brogue (which, despite what his friends think, he never mastered).
His Dad told him the story of how he flew a disabled bomber back to base, and "flew it all the way in," crashing onto the ground, where he was badly hurt. J.M. took his Dad's injuries from that plane crash, and revisited them onto a character in Angels and their Hourglasses.
Local VietNam vets told far different, dark and disturbing war stories, though just as riveting, and other locals of diverse origins had their own tales to tell.
J.M. was hooked, not only by the stories, but by the telling of them, and so started a lifelong passion; the writing of his own stories.
In the Mid-80s, J.M. left the big city and moved 2000 miles to rural Maine, where he found himself surrounded with a brand new, colorful cast of characters; an earthy breed of honest, hard-working people who possessed a seemingly endless supply of dry, humorous quips. It was a prerequisite that these be spoken in the native downeast accent, "Ya cahn't get theyah from heeyah. ." or "Cahn't say, not knowin'. . " or "Ayuh", (Mainer for "Yeah" or "Yep").
Maine and its people caught him by the heartstrings, and he lived there happily for 25 years. Time flies when you're having fun.
Due to the devastated Maine economy, J.M. became a Texas transplant, but he still has a home in Maine. He steals back home whenever he can, to write, hike the Appalachian Trail, take in the vistas, and visit dear friends.
Winner of the 2011 Global eBook Awards in the Popular Fiction category. Winner of the Gold in the 2011 eLit Awards in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category.
iTunes ranked Angels and Their Hourglasses at #44 on the Australian charts as of July 2011.