“Trey ain’t such a bad guy.”
A jail inmate, charged with murder.
Midland, Texas. Born and raised. God’s Country, at least if you’re a registered Republican. Hometown of President George W. Bush, who once yelled at me during a 1984 rally — my high school band was playing — after he asked the audience who they wanted for their next Vice President and I opined that it might have been interesting to have Thomas Eagleton as Vice President.
I’m pretty sure he wanted me to say George Herbert Walker Bush. I didn’t so he yelled at me and then the Secret Service appeared and lots of other stuff happened that I’ve been told I can?t tell you about.
Went to Robert E. Lee High School, mentioned numerous times in B.E. Bissinger’s brilliant book Friday Night Lights. Even though football is King in most of Texas and doubly so in west Texas, I didn’t play because my pain threshold is way too low – if I stub my toe, I’m down for six months. I spent my time in band.
Began to realize, around this time, writing might be cool and that if I could do it well, I’d get lots of money and lots of chicks.
Percussion (and here’s my favorite store: Lone Star Percussion) Learned from a helluva guy that I wish I hadn’t lost touch with, Bruce Collins, then went to Randy Storie’s program at Lee. Went to lots of competitions, won lots of awards (because I was such a band geek I never did anything but practice), played lots of cool songs, composed lots of bad ones.
In 1990, I married the incredible LuAnn Salz and we moved to Denver in 1992. I had just started writing fiction again after having set it aside while I worked as a journalist. When we got to Denver, I managed to meet Dan Simmons at a signing, asked him about writing and he suggested Ed Bryant’s beginning writers’ group. I was in that for three years and everything I know about reading and writing I learned from Ed Bryant.
I published my first handful of stories while in that group. Oct. 1994, “Down on the Farm,” in Ireland’s ALBEDO ONE. Since then, I’ve bounced around a few groups and have published a pile of stories. Some of my favorite writers can be found on the links page, if you’re interested.
By 1997, I was working in theater — because I had to have a job, the publishers weren’t battering down my door to publish my novels — and I loved it. Doing tech work, set design, and light design. I fell in love with light design and spent the better part of five years designing lights all over the city, in almost every theater, for all kinds of shows: Shakespeare to ten minute plays, musicals, dramas, comedies, even some special events.
In 2002, LuAnn and I moved to Illinois to be closer to her parents. I spent a little time working for the local village newsletter (“Don’t gimme no bad news, gimme happy news, that’s all.”), then got a job with a badge. Soon after that, I published my first novel, 2000 Miles to Open Road.
And that’s pretty much where we stand. Anything else you might want to know would be entirely too personal and would require the purchase of a shot of Daniel’s and beer back.