All about me

Author Daniel Hood, just moments before crashing into the shore of Silver Lake.
The photographer was unharmed, but the sailboat has yet to fully recover.

    All my life I've wanted to be a writer -- specifically, Stephen King, but since he's already him, and might object, I was left with just being me, and making the best of it.

    I wrote my first book the summer after graduating from college, and learned many things -- how badly the English language could be beaten, how uninteresting a supposedly cool idea could be, how important it was to know what you were writing about before you start writing about it, etc., etc. Needless to say, that book won't be bothering the reading public until I am so incredibly rich and famous that I can foist it off on an adoring fan-base.

    Which means that book won't be bothering the reading public.

    A year or so later, I took a week off from my job as a page layout-type (see below), read through all of Shakespeare's plays, and started the first Liam Rhenford novel, "Fanuilh." (It was called "Southwark's Teeth" at the time, but that's another story.) Applying the many lessons learned during the Lost Summer, I believed I had produced a perfectly saleable piece of work, and sat back to wait for the offers to pour in.

    Two years after that, someone very kindly pointed out that I wasn't going to make any sales if I didn't actually send the manuscript to publishers.

    I did, and within months an eagle-eyed editor at Berkley Publishing pulled my manuscript out of the slush pile (it may have been the $50 bill stapled to the cover letter), and the rest is publishing history ... of a sort. Personal publishing history, I suppose....

    Not quite a native New Yorker (I was born and raised in Pelham, a small town just north of the Bronx) but wishing I was, I went to high school (as many people do) and college (as some people do), where I studied history (as no one in their right mind does, at least not if they want a job).

    After college in Washington, D.C., I returned to New York and bummed around until it was discovered that I was not, in fact, independently wealthy (to this day, no one knows where I got the idea, seeing as I had never had any money). Leaping into the job market with the enthusiasm of a ground sloth, I bummed around some more until my sister found me a job. Though I was hired as a receptionist, I accidentally learned how to do page-layout and desktop publishing, and thus began my meteoric rise to the middle of the heap.

    Since then, I have worked at a variety of business publications, in locations as widely scattered as Washington, New York, Hong Kong, Abidjan, Bangkok, and Brussels (where I lived for a year and a half).

    I wrote my first book in 1991, managed to get it published in 1994, and pretty quickly realized that you can't even afford to starve to death on what a fiction writer makes, so I continue to maintain my alter ego of a humble member of the publishing world.

    For most of 2002 I enjoyed a blissful but uncertain spell of unemployment, but have recently returned to a job I used to have a few years back, as managing editor of a trade publication of no interest to the general population. They pay me money, for which I am suitably grateful.

    But enough about me ... no, really, enough.

    Seriously, go somewhere else.