James Stoddard loves reading mythology, fantasy, and anything else he has time for. He also enjoys playing the guitar and keyboards, and writing and recording songs.
He was born in Liberal, Kansas, and raised near the small town of Turpin in the Oklahoma Panhandle, the narrow portion of the state 35 miles by 168 miles, once called No Man's Land in pioneer days. He lived in one of two houses provided by the company at a Shamrock Gasoline Terminal, where tanker-trucks came to fill with fuel to sell at gas stations. His father was the terminal manager. His mother, a hairdresser during early adulthood, was a homemaker.
Being raised at the Terminal, with its warehouse, loading rack, office, vast tanks for storing fuel, and yards of winding pipelines, was a grand adventure for James and his two older brothers, and theirs was mostly a happy childhood. He attended Turpin schools through all twelve grades, graduating with a class of 24 other students.
He went to college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. He worked briefly as a bill collector for Beneficial Finance, as an Assistant Manager at Karl's Toys in Newport Beach, California, and as an Assistant Manager at a Gibson's Discount Center in Weatherford, Oklahoma. He soon took a job as Business Manager for a small school in West Texas, where he worked for nine years, during which time he obtained a degree in Recording Technology at a nearby junior college. Resigning his position as Business Manager, he began teaching sound recording at the college, where he has been ever since. His students work all across the country, in recording studies, in the film and gaming industry, as musicians, or running sound for bands.
In 1995, he received a Masters in Liberal Studies from Oklahoma University, with an emphasis on archeology, English, and ancient mythology. The title of his thesis: The Ballantine Books "Sign of the Unicorn" Adult Fantasy Series (1969-1974), suggests it could be reasonably argued that Mr. Stoddard holds a Masters in Fantasy.
He has a son and a married daughter. He lives with his wife in a Victorian home in a winding canyon in West Texas.