When I was in 6th grade my English teacher read us Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. It blew my little mind. I wanted to be that bird so badly that I later took flying lessons. However, I quickly realized that someone, who has more points on his driver’s license than he had on the SAT, should probably avoid hurtling himself through the air in a winged Miata. You can only be bad at landing once.
When I saw the last scene of Stand By Me, the one where the story folds back on the narrator and you see him typing the words that just made you cry, I realized writing had to be part of this lifetime.
When I was a kid my father gave me a couple of his old Billy Joel records. It was my first “grown up” gift from him. I really enjoy his music and weave at least one mention of him into every book as a nod to my old man.
There was a period during my late teens when I would wake every morning at exactly 3:47. I never found out why. I figured the best way to get even was to make fun of the little bugger. It now appears at least once in every book. I’m happy to report that I feel much better about the whole thing. Though in truth, I still get the willies when I see the figure unexpectedly.
While researching Job Hunting for Introverts, I wrote a couple of humor books under the pen name, Jackson Holiday. It was a politically incorrect palate cleanser. Now I’m ready to return to proper fiction. The new novel, which has a surreal philosophical bent of course, is shaping up to be a rather gritty tale of love and loss.
I’ve benefited from a series of great mentors, teachers and coaches. Their input shaped who I am and any success I’ve achieved. I believe in the value of coaching and run a practice focused on helping others achieve success. Learn more at www.PlotlineLeadership.com.
I’m one of those annoying morning people – up at 5, at the gym shortly thereafter, at work by 7 or so. I follow a similar pattern on weekends. When you focus on writing from 6am till noon most weekends you can get a lot accomplished and still have a life. Plus my wife is super cool and keeps me balanced so I don’t overdo things.
It drives me crazy when people say, “everything happens for a reason.” That seems so defeatist. More accurate to me is that people assign reasons to all that happens. I can’t blame them though—the first is a great deal more comforting.

  1. I listen to music (usually one album over and over) BEFORE I write. When writing, I can’t read or listen to anything else. Hence my tendency to seem a bit of an airhead now and then.
  2. As part of my character research for The Amazing and Somewhat Sarcastic Tad, I actually got dressed in a Barley Man costume and ran through a Bowling Alley yelling at a group of imaginary Zukes. In my defense, I was a horrendously stupid teenager.
  3. I nearly accepted a position as a Secret Service agent. Bad eyesight and bad jokes closed that door. Still, the two-year interview process was incredible. Those guys and gals are amazing.

After 15 years of teaching karate I’m beginning to realize one’s body does not stay 20 forever. Half the time I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies just walking around. Looking back, I should have tied my frequent flyer points to my orthopedic surgeon. I would’ve been penning this from Aruba. The trouble is, there’s no complaint department for that sort of thing. It’s not like you can consult the manufacturer, spark a recall, and order new parts. I was really counting on the implied promise of bionics touted by the Six Million Dollar Man. Damn you Steve Austin. Where are Rudy and Oscar when you need them?