Grew up loving stories and gravitated to reading instantly. Narrative is my holy grail. I love a good novel over any other form of artwork. Graduated from the University of Colorado in 1983 with a B.A. in English Lit.
My major influence is Dr. Suess. After that, Shakespeare. Didn't much take to writing as a youth, but discovered stream-of-consciousness poetry in my twenties and developed an unfortunate tendency to roll around in the sound of words like a puppy in a warm bathrobe. For years after that I accumulated reams of crappy teen-angst poetry (I was a late bloomer) bemoaning my miserable lot.
When I took my first Shakespeare class in college, by chance Merchant of Venice was playing on PBS that first week, with Maggie Smith as the divine Cordelia. I had no idea before that such word-beauty existed. I was flabbergasted and gratified. Our professor told us that one had to read a Shakespeare play seven times before you could understand it. So I read Romeo and Juliet seven times in a row. For a while there I dreamt in iambic pentameter. Those were the nights.
In 1984 I decided to write a fantasy novel, despite never having written more than maybe four or five short stories. I had conceived an allergy to short stories after a certain number of modern ones left me scratching my head at the end. Like I said, take me somewhere. Narrative rules in my world, and short stories are generally too short for a satisfying narrative in my taste.
I wrote a coming-of-age fable that took twenty years, not because it was so great or anything, but because it took me that long to come of age. Finally self-published Stonebringer in 2004. Self-publishing is an endeavor I would only recommend to really strong striving types, or else masochists. Being neither myself, it was a dud, though one can download the PDF chapters from the novel at my site. The self-publishing thing was a train wreck, but the novel continues, as it's a two-volume work, and the second one is in progress. Stonebringer is being edited now by my crack staff/pal, so when the second volume is complete we will have a tasty package for some lucky (I hope) publisher.
I thought I wanted to write fantasy novels but realized recently that the dumber I got the better I liked it, so decided to try my hand at a children's novel, in the Wind in the Willows or Mary Poppins or Charlotte's Web vein, if not quite so accomplished. Did it during NaNoWriMo, a mouse tale. Never realized writing for children would be such a glorious romp. I've found my niche. Grownups go home.
So now regular fantasy is a sideline for me. I am a children's writer, born and bred, though I only just found out.