I started writing in the newspaper business. After earning my bachelor's degree in journalism in 1984, I began worked as a general assignment reporter at the WInona Dail News in Minnesota, and later spent three years doing the same at the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. I left that position to work as a writer and communications coordinator for the state of Minnesota.
All of the above was okay, and good experience to sharpen my writing skills, but I had always wanted to be a freelance writer, so I quit my job in the big city of St. Paul, MN, and moved to an iolsated cabin in the northern Minnesota woods. I was successful at first writing for some magazines, selling articles to an eclectic variety of publications, including Astronomy magazine, Cat Fancy, and FATE magazine.
But as fun as it is selling to magazines, it's a precarious hit and miss way to earn money writing, so I began marketing myself as a ghostwriter. The first book ghostwriting job I landed earned me $3,500 -- it was a full-length books titled "The Home Health Care Encylopedia" and it sold very well for the small publishing company I wrote it for. My next successful book was "The Instant Marketing Plan" published by Puma Publishing. Many other titles followed.
After those two best-selling books, I was off and running with a steady stream of ghostwriting assignments, and it's a good way to make a living if you don't care about your own ego and having your own name on a published book.
Today I still ghost, but am more interested in publishing and selling my own work. I have several e-books on the market, which sell fairly okay, and I am publishing my first "paper-and-ink" book, "Minnesota Mysteries" very soon.
I also am exploring the new world of online writing. I am a reporter for Examiner.com where I am known as Kittson County Top News Examiner.
I would say the three writers that have influenced me most in my life are the great Jack Vance, Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury.