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Carl was born in 1964, and grew up in rural Mississippi in the red clay hills of Pontotoc County. No one called him Carl. They knew him as "Rusty", a nickname he hated as much as anything he could imagine. One of his first memories has him standing in his front yard wishing he was old enough to go to school so he could learn to read and write. Especially write, because he had stories swirling inside his head and he didn't want to forget them. His next memory is of his first day at school, wondering what he had wished himself into, and how he could get back out of it. He hated school at first. It was traumatic. On that first day of first grade, he was kept in at recess because he was the only kid in his class who couldn't recite his ABCs. An ironic start for a boy who would grow up to write novels.
He started riding motorcycles when he was seven years old, and quickly developed a love for speed and the thrill of taking chances. Some of those chances didn't turn out the way they had when he imagined himself doing them, but he would never stop imagining.
At some point Carl learned to accept school, even enjoy it. He developed a love of history, and took a profound interest in current events. He was a small boy, and painfully shy. The nickname stuck with him until he started community college and seized the opportunity to introduce himself to his new classmates as Carl. He majored in electronics, receiving an AAS degree in 1984. After college he worked as a technician for an office supply company that primarily sold cash registers to mom-and-pop stores throughout North Mississippi and Northwest Alabama. It was this job that introduced him to a wide array of people of different backgrounds. He discovered his fascination for observing people, and how they interact. Later, he took a job in a tire plant as a maintenance technician where he developed an interest in computers. He taught himself to program PLCs and computers using Visual Basic, and today works for a systems integration firm as a programmer. This job took him all over the United States, to Mexico, and to the Dominican Republic. He met people who were different, yet the same, and they fascinated him.
When he was 28, Carl rode his motorcycle north from Mississippi and toured the back roads of Ohio. Later he rode through the Smokey Mountains and up the Blue Ridge Parkway into Virginia. Riding relaxed him, and allowed his mind to wander back toward the novels he knew he would someday write. Someday came about a decade later, when he stopped making excuses and began the difficult task of turning a dream into reality.
Carl never moved away from Pontotoc County. He lives there today with his wife, Sharon, and two of their four children. At present he and Sharon have three grandsons and a granddaughter who keep them busy. He still works for the same systems integration firm, and he continues to write novels.