Texas native Thomas Fenske currently lives in North Carolina. He graduated from the University of Houston and has worked in various occupations over the years. He is currently an IT professional and manages various flavors of UNIX computer systems.He has been married to the same lovely woman for thirty years and they have three grown children and five grandchildren, eight cats and a ninety-something pound dog.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I often wonder what happened to that one. It was a short story I dashed off as extra credit for an American History class when I was a junior in High School. It was a quick first person narrative of a Civil War soldier caught up in the third day's battle at Gettysburg/Cemetery Ridge and ended with him punching over the short wall at the top of the ridge and being captured. My history teacher liked it a lot. It's funny because although I later majored in history, I never focused too much on the Civil War. After I moved to North Carolina, I got much more involved in private research on the war. The story was written long before the movie Gettysburg and long before I ever visited the battlefield but details I remember from it seemed quite accurate. I may have to rewrite it one day if I can't ever find it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember a book of Indian stories, mostly from the Southwest, like Navaho or Hopi. I don't remember the title. I read it cover to cover a number of times. Little morality stories I guess, each emphasizing some issue or conflict that had to be resolved. I don't remember a lot of details but remember reading it a lot when I was just starting to read. I loved to read. My mother told me she got called to a teacher conference once because I was always in the wrong place when we were doing group reading in class. Apparently I didn't have patience and would read ahead faster than whoever was reading out loud. When it was my turn, I'd just continue where I was. Okay, attention problems, maybe. Reading? No problem there.