My mother used to call me a Jack-of-all-trades, and she was right. As a senior citizen, I'm still wondering what I want to be when I grow up! My Navy background in electronics helped to keep me away from poverty, just barely. And my brief career as a radio announcer proved to be not much of an improvement.
So, with a family to support, I moved from one factory job to another, until I went to work in a Chicago recording studio and fell in love with the creative field. In some sense, that was where I should have been all along. I have always had a love for make-believe. As a boy, I spent many a weekend in my neighborhood theater, dreaming of being a sound effects man, and as an adult, I finally got my wish. From radio/TV tracks to A-V programs, I had my fill. The work included everything: voice recording, editing, scoring with library music, and, of course, sound effects production. I even had a chance to try my hand at directing and producing. And if that weren't enough, I also taught a course in audio production at Columbia College, Pat Sajak's alma mater. But just for one semester.
However, while it was fun taking a raw script to an audiovisual event, I wanted more than that. So, after I left the studio business behind, I devoted all my spare time -- when I wasn't doing home remodeling -- to writing and found that I could use my imagination. With no formal writing education, I made several costly errors, like trying to peddle a 900-page manuscript, expecting a publisher to make me a best-selling author. I learned fast, though. After several revisions, I cut the MS down to a marketable size and got it published.
The problem is that I may have been a bit hasty in selecting a publisher. Had I known that PublishAmerica books were virtually banned from some book stores, I might have held off. I couldn't believe it. For a story that was set in Chicago, no retailers stocked my book, and I was crushed. But I don't mind blowing my own horn. I have received nothing but rave reviews from the few people who bought it -- strangers and friends alike!
My style of writing is my own invention, and not literary in the strictest sense. I like to think that my narratives speak to the reader, which I think had its foundation in my childhood exposure to radio drama. I also try to inject a little humor for comic relief. Reading is entertainment, after all. So, even with a mystery, the material needn't be page after page of nail-biting suspense.
The odd part is that I was a poor reader as a kid. I didn't really get turned on to curling up with a good book until my senior year in high school. Then, after joining the Navy, I spent much of my free time reading, from Dumas to Dickens and Sinclair Lewis to John O'Hara, just to drop a few authors' names. Now, for relaxation, I read John Grisham and a few other popular writers, like Tom Clancy and Stephen King. Then, if I'm in the mood, and time allows, I go Online and read the classics I should have read in high school. I try to keep my TV viewing to a minimum, but my weakness is Bears football, and, of course, "Law & Order."
That's just a glimpse into who I am and what drives me. If I went much farther, I might bore you with another 900-page manuscript. But, if you stayed with me this far, I accomplished what I set out to do. By the way, did I mention that I'm looking for an agent?