I've been writing since I could hold a crayon, and I spent much of my youth buried in piles of comic books, science fiction, fantasy and encyclopedias. So, my early influences were Stan Lee and his compatriots. Later, Kurt Vonnegut, Herman Hesse and Gabriel Garcia Marquez loomed large literary development. I've been a newspaper reporter (civilian and military), a gardner, a professional musician, a ditch digger (really), and a grant writer. Somewhere along the line I was fortunate to be admitted to Michigan Technological Institute's Rhetoric and Technical Communication program, and I emerged with a Ph.D.
My nonfiction has been published in popular and academic journal over the years, and my short stories have appeared a number of journals, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, The Cafe Irreal, Above the Bridge, Denver Syntax, and others. Frankly, much of the last few years have been dedicated to academic publishing and work, and I'm just getting back to my fiction.
The Tao of Writing came from my interests in Eastern Philosophy and Writing. The connections simply clicked one day, and the thousands who have read the book seem to agree. Sometimes we write something and later find it isn't what we thought. The Tao of Writing continues to be inspirational to me, and I use it to spur my own work.
I have three manuscripts in the works, a book of fiction for teens, a book on "Writing Your Story", and a book manuscript on writing and peace studies.