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I really was born in Pennsylvania in the early sixties. My mother was always my best friend and was really the best writer in the family. She left this world much too soon. My father was an insurance man, then a car dealer for thirty-some years, and then found the desire to try his hand at fiction and poetry writing, without much success. He is still living. I have a brother and a sister, six and eleven years older. My sister has the special ability to shed the light on the things that shouldn’t be included in my books and slice them out with her editing knife. Some of which have been reinserted in the Blurbs section of my upcoming website. You may find some humor there.
As I wrote in the Jake Series, I was raised in the farmland settings of south central Pennsylvania. There really was a one hundred and eighty acre farm. There really was an old path carved by the trolley cars from years before, and there really was an amusement park from the eighteen-nineties, complete with that special, hand carved carousel which now resides in the Smithsonian. All of the land is now suburban housing tracts. I think the old buildings in the park may still be there, though I haven’t been back there for more than a decade.
I grew up racing go-karts and mini-bikes and motorcycles on the trails and in the clay pits, and rambling through the raspberry patch that was along the trail to old McClintock’s automobile junkyard. We always found ways to explore the creeks with makeshift rafts, and build tree forts in the woods with borrowed items. And… always being in that Tom and Huck mode, finding trouble was often easier to do than not.
In those early years, I found a knack for performing in country club kitchens and fine restaurants. Cooking fancy dinners for hundreds every night. When I saw no clear path to success in the culinary arts, I dropped back and punted, to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Initially, as a radio operator in a Hawk missile battalion when they found that I was color blind and then as a maintenance data analyst in the helicopter side of the air wing. There was a total of seven years, five months and ten days in service with the Marines, not one of which I have ever regretted. I have been to most parts of the world where Marines were found when I was with them.
As the years went by I wound up in the maintenance field, and yes… I really am a conveyor guy and have been for decades. In fact, I worked for many years with the company that invented barcode sortation. I can claim to have all the abilities and knowledge of a mechanical engineer, without the degree. I have a strong affinity for classic rock music and have fronted bands in years gone by. And… I really am a Light Sport pilot, albeit a bandit, which means I am not licensed.
Now… I really do live in Central Florida and know all of the places and people Jake talks about. Most of the fictional characters are based on real persons. I’ve learned that the most successful writers either spin yarns about what they know, or have endless resources to research what they don’t. I live in the former reality.
I am married to a wonderful Colombian girl, Maria, who has a beautiful, seventeen year old that I am proud to call my daughter, Licci. And… about four years ago, we were blessed with the birth of a boy, Henri Diamond Blue.
There are some more works planned in and outside of the Jake Series. Maybe some of that will be a sharing of all those childhood adventures. I hope you enjoy my work and care enough to pass the word, if you do. Thanks to all of you who have spawned the inspiration and encouraged me. And…thanks have to go out to Tom Sawyer, Indian Jones, Popeye and Clark Kent. Without them, there would be no Jake.
on Dec. 02, 2012 :
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK & CAN'T WAIT TO READ MORE BOOKS BY ALAN STARKEY!!!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)