My first love is the written word. When I was young I read every Choose Your Own Adventure book — all writers of my generation better have read these books. But the first book that changed my view of reading and writing was Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. I read it when I was 10–much too young–and it never left me. It warped my mind. It showed me that books can be wild, unpredictable, scary and fun. Over the years I’ve been a fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Chuck Palahniuk, as well as Milan Kundera, Peter Hoeg, Sam Shepard, Hemingway and Salinger. All these writers have left their mark.
So how did I get this bug for the supernatural and strange? Maybe it was when I was five and watching Night of the Living Dead with my parents. It scared the life out of me. My parents patiently explained that those zombies were really just actors. I still don’t understand why anyone would want to be an actor, but thanks to that movie, and later on The Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, and of course Star Wars, I became a fan of most things horror/ supernatural/ sci-fi and all-around weird.
Growing up I had some rough times. Most of my life I’ve felt like an outsider, and it’s taken me years to come to terms with that — and accept it. What’s gotten me through some of the tough times is writing. It has given me happiness, and I’ve learned through writing to meld my experiences as an outsider with my love of the supernatural/sci-fi/strange. My characters are flawed, lonely people who struggle mightily in fantastical situations. I have a weakness for the wounded, both in real life and the fictional world. Keep your near-perfect superheroes. Superman bores me. I’ll take Batman instead. I’d rather hang with the people who are a little messy, the ones who feel at odds with the world, than with those who think they have it all figured out.
An explorer at heart, I’m not afraid to try new things–once, twice, or several times. I got my first tattoo before tattoos were cool. I enlisted in the Army after college because I felt like it. I’ve traveled half the world, raced my beat-up Volvo down the Autobahn (and won), jumped off bridges, snowboarded throughout North America, and gotten into a few fights and a little trouble along the way.
Now I’m ready for the next adventure.