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I’m a storyteller. My skills at writing are subject to opinion, my punctuation has been called interesting, at best—but I am a storyteller.
I am, of course, many other things. In seven decades of living, there are great numbers of things that have attracted my attention. I am, for example, an electrician. I can also design, build, and install a range of things from stairs and railings to flooring, and tile backsplashes. I can even giftwrap a box from the inside, so to speak, by wallpapering the house.
I’m an engineer, one who has designed computers and computer systems; one of which—during the bad old days of the cold war—flew in the plane designated as the American President’s Airborne Command Post: The Doomsday Jet.
I’ve spent seven years as the chief-engineer of a company that built bar-code readers.
I spent thirteen of the most enjoyable years of my life as a scoutmaster, and three, nearly as good, as a cubmaster.
I joined the Air Force to learn jet engine mechanics, but ended up working in broadcast and closed circuit television, serving in such unlikely locations as the War Room of the Strategic Air Command, and a television station on the island of Okinawa.
I have been involved in sports car racing, scuba diving, sailing, and anything else that sounded like fun. I can fix most things that break, sew a fairly neat seam, and have raised three pretty nice kids, all of who are smarter and prettier than I am—more talented, too, thanks to the genes my wife kindly provided.
Once, while camping with a group of cubs and their families, one of the dads announced, “You guys better make up crosses to keep the Purple Bishop away.” When I asked for more information, the man shrugged and said, “I don’t really know much about the story. It’s some kind of a local thing that was mentioned on my last camping trip.” Intrigued, I wondered if I could come up with something to go with his comment about the crosses; something to provide a gentle terror-of-the-night to entertain the boys. The result was a virtual forest of crosses outside the boys’ tents. That was the event that switched on something within me that, now, more than twenty-five years later, I can’t seem to switch off.
Stories came and came… so easily it was sometimes frightening. Stories so frightening that one boy swore he watched my eyes begin to glow with a dim red light as I told them (it was the campfire reflecting from my glasses, but I didn’t tell him that).
Then, someone asked for a copy of one of my campfire stories, which brought me to the word processor. When that was finished, I wondered: could I write something other than technical articles and campfire stories? Something with dialog?
“Something with dialog,” when completed, led to: Can I write in the first person? Do an adventure? A romance?
Having finally sold a few novels (four, to date, the latest to Double Dragon) plus a handful of short stories, I am living proof that if you work at something for long enough you will eventually get it right.