About the Author
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My storytelling career began as an actor. I was seven when I played Jerome in a mainstage production of South Pacific. I suppose it was then I caught the bug and decided my life must revolve around telling tales. Most people who knew me agreed I was well-suited (as I was already an accomplished liar). I continued acting for the next several years and ultimately attended the National Shakespeare Conservatory. The head guru there told me my acting instincts were always spot on, my craft was honed, but I didn’t know a damn thing about life (actually his language was a wee bit more colorful, but this is a G-rated bio).
So at the end of the term, I knew it was time to fly. I hitchhiked from NYC to San Francisco and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand, with $80 remaining in my pocket. It was the start of an odyssey that would take me to many exotic locales and turn me from a naive country boy into a seasoned man who finally knew a little about life. But something else had changed. I no longer had the yen to act. I now wanted to be in charge, as the director. And since no one wanted to hire me, I simply started my own theater company and placed myself on the throne. My band of thespians traveled around the Northeast, bringing theater to mostly rural areas.
To avoid royalty fees, I started writing plays. I had always been a creative and prolific writer as a youth in school, so it came easy. Success brought on ambition, and— tiring of snow—I moved to Arizona to continue the work. I landed in what then was the sleepy little town of Sedona. At the time, they were just building their first high school, and it was reported it would contain a fully-operational theater. I decided it had to be mine. I volunteered to teach a theater course, and by the next year, when the school was officially completed, I was given a full-time job and the keys to the new performing arts complex. Having my own theater was like being in Candyland. I started a troupe made up of students and adults, and for the next three years indulged myself, staging shows both large and small. A dream come true. And it just about killed me. No one knew what they were doing, so I had to teach as I tried to mount shows—an army of one at times. As utterly rewarding as the experience was, I was forced to bow out to save myself. I took a job as GM at an opera house in Prescott and began to write in earnest. I could feel the theater, as much as I loved it, was not sating me anymore. It was time to move on.
I began to get work doing freelance writing, mostly script work for video and animation projects. It was good money, and I excelled at it. Years earlier, I had tried my hand at screenplays, but now I started going after it with a vengeance. There was a lot of interest, and many options purchased by producers, but no movies were made. I felt if I could understand better what it took to make a movie, I would be a better screenwriter. So, I went to film school and learned all about the camera and the behind-the-scenes activity. After leaving there, I purchased equipment, and started a video production company, producing educational and commercial projects around the country. This period helped my writing considerably, as I now understood what the camera sees and needs to make a good movie. More spec scripts were turned out. More interest, more options, no movie made. This went on for quite some time until I had a successful screenwriter tell me that over half of the movies made came from books. Made sense, and so (wait for it) I started writing books. Never one to stumble blindly into things, I took many master classes (and still do) and honed my raw skill.
Interestingly, as I progressed as a novelist, I began to care less and less if the books would ever be adapted for the screen. I started seeing the work as truly an end in itself. I’ve always been a voracious reader, capable of plowing through several novels in a month. As I looked inside myself, I realized that books were one of my first true loves, right alongside the theater. I’d read books in the green room during the shows I was in. I fell asleep with them in my hands. Seems I always was finishing one or starting a new one. This was storytelling at its heart. And I found I was very proud to be someone who could create books. Even prouder than starring in a big show, or telling stories at county fairs to large crowds of wide-eyed kids. In short, I realized this was what I wanted to do from now on. Theater and video were over, that’s for when you’re young and full of inexhaustible energy. It would have to be novels from now on. And I couldn’t be happier to have made the decision. My office is my kingdom where I can be the producer, marketer, writer, director, actor, set designer, and whatever else is needed. I also take all the grief if a book doesn’t come off well, or if sales are down. And that’s just the way I like it. So, here I am,
with a lot more stories to tell and so little time.
Back to work.
If you would like to contact me, please email
Long Live Laughter!
Website Attributions: Illustrations and Photos
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