Many ask me, who is my inspiration, what inspires me and why did I start writing. Well the man put me on this roller coaster was my father. This is for him, I will always remember him.
As a young child of five, my parents decided that they were no longer in love, however they did remain friends. At the age of five, my dad was my hero, thus my small emotional world was devastated at the time, and my younger brother was not as affected, for he was only three. However, little did I know he and I would create some of the most amazing adventures together and eventually become not only my father, my dad, but also my best friend.
In the early years, he lived a meager existence, near penniless, and a drunk, but hey, he was my dad, I still loved him, he was still my hero. But nonetheless, down and out, when he was around, he started opening my eyes to a world of great imagination and wonder. We would sit and watch together classic shows like U.F.O., The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, and of course Star Trek.
Eventually, he began to turn his life around and my brother and I were included more in his world. His weekends were more consistent, and he now called if he could not make it. His new lady adored us, and yet had the same sense of imagination as the rest of us. Many of weekends we stayed up watching midnight horror flicks on Chilly Billy, it’s a Pittsburgh thing. We admired the achievements of shows like Buck Rogers, Space 1999, and Battle Star Galactica, and in awe of such features as Star Wars, The Black Hole, Jaws, Alien, and many more. Yes, I was a geek in training, what a wonderful thing.
I always read, as far back as I can remember, and to this day I can recall one of my favorite books that I would read and re-read. It was "The Island at the Top of the World". I don't know why now it made an impact, but it did. Alas, I lost this book when my mother's home went up in a blaze, and as of yet have been unable to acquire it again. Of course I have not read this since I was a young teenager. In these same years, I had the fortune to read (lent to me by dad) the Lord of the Rings: The four book boxed set. I have those now. This bed time tale pulled me into the fantasy genre, which I love and shared with my father.
I also grew up listening to my dad's stories, tales of knights and kings. We would play outside, my brother and I, with him and my cousins, living these tales as sword swinging heroes, dagger yielding villains, or blaster carrying shock troops. Many of days, I remember coming back to my aunts or his house, with him, mud up to our ears. In my later teen years, the stories changed, it was far more detailed, and it was his novel that he was writing. He would come and pick up my brother and I every other weekend and sometime during those two days, we would be tossed into his imaginary world as he told the next portion of the tale that took place “Under Distance Stars”.
My overactive imagination thus got me hooked on Role-Playing Games. I remember not quite grasping the concept and giving the “Box” to my dad. My mistake I guess, because he and I have been with it from the start until present day.
After High school in 1982, I joined the USAF and was then shipped around the world, but it was during this phase of my life that I would begin to pen my first stories, that never got completed. The Medallion began in 1985, Realm of Shadow began in 1989, and Blood Line in 1991, two fantasy novels and the other supernatural horror. Of course these were never were completed, but will be posted here as I begin to rework them and let them be viewed by you, the reader. During these years, things again were bad for dad, as he lost his daughter at the age of one, from a crib death. He and my step mother never got over it and eventually, the parted ways. I remember the heart felt letters from him, wishing me the best, but crying out for help all the same.
I finally left the military in 1992, due to no fault of my own, since I was a part of the massive USAF cut-backs. At the same time, I was going through a divorce, so Dad rescued me, giving me a room. He remarried this year; I had the honor of being his best man, an honor I cherish forever. As for me personally, my life changed in a positive direction after this. I remarried, finished college, and have a family that I would not trade anything for. The only regret I have at this time was during these years, I stopped writing. Work consumed me, unfortunately.
Then on chilly January Saturday in 2005, on a game day, my father announced to me and our friends that he had cancer, but it was nothing serious and more than likely operable. Our hearts sank, but his cheerful demeanor quickly turned us around and the room as alive with his imagination again. We had a few more game sessions after, but bad news halted our creative venue and outlet. My step mother called me and informed me that things took a turn for the worse; he had only six months left. I was devastated, but knew I had to change my patterns to be with him, and make it the best damn spring ever….
My father passed away on Easter, March 27, 2005, no spring, no time to share, he was gone, it a sad and dark day for me, my brother, and two sisters. You must understand a few things here. First, my mother remarried two years after she left my dad. This union brought four of the best brothers, all great guys, and all were there for me that day. My father as you know was remarried also, not once, not twice, but alas three times. In this he granted me three sisters. The youngest of these is the one who passed away, the eldest I had never met, but only twice before that day, the other, I new quite well. Now we are close, but time has caused all of us to drift, but we try.
I miss my father, I think of him still, about every day, but the motivation came when I was going through my closet in my office. I stuck some of his belongings there and was looking for something, what it was, I can't recall, but what I found brought tears to my eyes.
Buried beneath some old turtlenecks of his was a binder, in this binder was several hundred printed pages of a novel titled “Future Legends”, one of his two novels. Here it sat, his legacy, sitting at the bottom of a closet, never to see the public eye, never to be read from cover to cover in a fancy bind. Is this what's to be come of me? That was my thought, was it wrong? I don't know, but I have since been on a relentless drive to have my work seen, read by anyone.
I don't seek attention, I tell the tales I enjoy telling, mostly for my benefit, but yet, I need that little spark from the world, to push me yet another step, is that wrong?