Born in California, I grew up in Holladay, Utah, a semi-rural suburb of Salt Lake City, on an acre plus of apple orchard and grassy fields between fence-lines planted with box elder, honey locust, and elm. I discovered libraries early and found that my favorite books, the ones with space ships and dragons and the like, were marked with a purple dot on the back. I read every one and acted out favorite scenes. Tunnels and paths through nearby thickets of thorny shad bush became jungles and space ships and secret passages in castles.
I served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Marine. Much to my relief, in spite of my being stationed near Da Nang, nobody ever shot at me and I never shot at anybody. Later, on a mission for the LDS Church, I got my first in-depth look at another culture by living in Japan for two years and became fluent in Japanese.
Like many writers, I've had a wide variety of jobs and experiences: as an electronic technician I've fixed everything from PCs to mainframe computers to radar. I've spent time at sea; programmed in machine code, FORTRAN, BASIC, and Pascal; bound books in both western and Japanese styles; built prototype ultrasonic sensors for artificial arms; worked on a field study of lizard diets; done lost-wax casting and made jewelry; worked as a life guard; drawn maps and blue-prints, including a map of the geomorphology of the Dao Vallis area of Mars; done layout, pasteup and published fanzines and newsletters; snorkeled and scuba-dived; helped build a church; served as conchair for Outre-Vention, an SF&F convention; done custodial work; worked in a pharmacy; been a digger on an archaeological dig; sketched with pencil, and pen and ink; and more.
Unbeknownst to my university faculty I studied worldbuilding, while earning a degree in physical geography with a minor in biology. This combines nicely with my wife's degree in anthropology -- I build worlds and she peoples them.
I can't remember a time when I didn't want to write stories. My heroes were Burroughs, Heinlein, Bradbury, Norton, Clarke, Zelazny, and so many others. I wrote constantly -- mostly poetry and scraps of story and description. Yet, with one minor exception, it was only in about 1990 that I finally produced a finished story -- and that was the first version of "A Portion for Foxes," a much revised version of which appears in Writers of the Future, Volume XI.
The most positive influence on my writing has been my sweetheart, Julia, whose story "Sea of Chaos" also appears in WOTF XI (table of contents). It's with her encouragement and example that I've reached out and done what I always wanted to do. We often brainstorm together and collaborate on shared stories, in addition to writing our own. Another important influence has been GEnie, an international bulletin board and home of the SFRT (the Science Fiction Round Table). On GEnie I've been able to learn about my craft and career from professional writers and editors -- their help has been invaluable. My first three sales were to markets that I found out about on GEnie. And I can't neglect the help I've received from my friends in local writers groups.
"An early version of A Portion for Foxes" was my first complete story, but it was my fourth SF&F sale. My first was to GALAXY magazine, my next two were collaborations with Julia ("Weeds" and "Peachwood Flute") that we sold to the anthologies ENCHANTED FORESTS (Dec. '95), and SORCERY: MAGICKS OLD AND NEW (Aug. '96).
Julia and I have two children, Rowan Amber and Danica Brooke. I also have three children by a previous marriage, Angela Bethany, Brian Carl, and Timothy Michael.
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org