there is no place safe
It began with comic books. Mom lamented hard-earned money spent on comics, but my brother and I were hooked, eventually amassing a collection of over 500 volumes we stored in an old, highboy chest of drawers. Each month we would scour the local store for the latest episodes of our favorites. I still remember the anticipation on the monthly release days.
Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, and Superman became familiar, trusted friends–well, maybe not Hulk; I mean, who wanted an angry green giant for a friend?
Beyond comics, Tom Swift Jr. occupied a couple of feet on my bookshelf. I learned of worlds, scientific discoveries, and adventures far beyond the walls of the 600 square foot home in San Luis Obispo, California I shared with my mom and brother.
I spent endless hours drawing colored pencil charts of our solar system, and dreamed of building my own spaceship, like David and Chuck in The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. Ah, the endless imagination of boys–and girls, too. Many years later, I was really excited as an adult to visit Pacific Grove, CA, the setting for the Mushroom Planet books. It was my first experience of why a book's setting is so critical.
After years reading science fiction, what’s now called Speculative Fiction, my writing took a left turn into suspense. I find it much easier to put people in peril on our world rather than having to create the world from scratch. Much applause to those talented ones who can do that.
Some people find sudoku challenging to keep their brains sharp. Personally, it would drive me nuts.
Then again, writing fiction might be worse. However, there is nothing more satisfying than organizing complex plots, memorable settings, and likable characters into a finished story that people don't want to end.
I grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, and was fortunate to know some colorful people (related to some of them) and drive the picturesque backroads. The Central Coast is a special place, and a great setting for Perilous Cove and Storm Lake.
WHY I WRITE
I can take a line like – “She could have been pretty once, even beautiful” – and go a hundred different directions.
Because words can be so powerful, so beautiful, they hurt the heart – in a good way.
Unlike real life, I can choose vindication.
Everyone likes to be carried away.
Whenever someone says, “Let me tell you a story…,” everyone leans in.
With every sentence I can twist the story in a new direction. The difficult thing is choosing only one.
I like my characters, even when they’re really bad.