A lifelong resident of Virginia, I grew up in the rural southeastern part of the state with a large extended family. As a child, I attended a Baptist church until my family stopped attending when I was in my early teens. I majored in Religious Studies and minored in Creative Writing with a focus on fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University. I live in a rural area near Richmond where my twelve year old rescue dog, a Lab/beagle mix I named Joey, and my three year old beagle, Leah, have room to run. I spend my free time with my favorite activity, gardening, and I read and write just as often as possible. At university, I had many incredible writing teachers, the most recent being authors Clint McGown, and Sheri Reynolds, bestselling author of “Rapture of Canaan”. I learned from Clint McGown that prose can be as beautiful as poetry and I got my love of southern fiction from Sheri Reynolds.
Beginning at age sixteen, I worked after school as a busboy, dishwasher, delivery driver, and even did a four week stint during Christmas Break on the night-shift in a ball bearing foundry. The molten steel was so hot that large bay doors along both sides of the building were kept open all night even during the winter. I worked a night shift as a cab driver, until on my third night I told a a fare that I was forty five cents short of the change I owed him and the man told me I’d better have his money; his exact words were “I’ll kill you for a dollar!” (needless to say, I turned in the car and quit on the spot). I also worked as a retail clerk, store manager, garden center manager, district manager of a retail chain, was an independent contractor/landscaper for several years then in 1995 I opened a successful antiques mall which I sold it in 2006.
That eclectic mix of work experience provided me the chance to meet and interact with a wide range of people in every socio-economic bracket, and learned from everyone who I met. I try to put those wide-ranging experiences to good use in my writing. In 2012 I began writing stories about a boy growing up in the south in the 1960’s. Those stories became the collection "Tales of Roland McCray".
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Smashwords book reviews by Blaine Coleman
- Zombies vs. Robots 2
on Sep. 29, 2013
This book changed my mind about just how engaging a Zombie story can be!
I’ve been an avid reader since I was twelve and science fiction and horror stories were and still are my favorite genres. I still read as much as possible and prefer science fiction, cyberpunk and the occasional horror story, but I never really had interest in zombie stories; the few I read were just formulaic, too “old school” for my tastes, but the title of this book intrigued me and I’m glad I bought it. The fast paced, action-filled, suspenseful story is a mesh of somewhat traditional zombies, genetic engineering, the unchecked power of multi-national corporations that want to subjugate humanity and a fringe religious group with apocalyptic aspirations, both with their own private army fighting to take over the world isn’t just plausible in the future but true today. And frankly, unbridled corporate and religious power is even more frightening than are the zombies! This story has believable characters and a strong focus on family, loyalty, love, and importance of cooperation against seemingly impossible odds in the face of horrific personal suffering and loss. The father-daughter author writing team, Joseph and Marisha Cautilli, have added science, tech and an element of cyberpunk to the traditional “zombie” tale, a twist that definitely makes this book stand out from the slew of “Zombie” books being turned out every day. This is not your typical zombie tale and once I started reading it I didn’t want to put it down, and the cliff-hanger ending left me wanting the series to continue. I highly recommend this series to any fan of science fiction, fantasy or horror- I know I’ll be waiting for the next volume to be released!