I was born in rural Southeast Missouri, about the middle of the last century. As I turned seven years old, I was allowed to pick cotton near Kinder, Missouri. Even at that young age, I was able to determine it wasn’t a career path I wanted to pursue. As I turned eighteen, Uncle Sam had a job for me. (When my daughter learned that I had been in the army, she asked, "Which one, the Blue or the Gray?") Having a rich uncle turned out to be a ticket to a college degree, which allowed me to make a career out of programming computers. The keyboard is easier on your fingers than cotton bolls and you get to work in an air-conditioned environment. It was a good career. Now I am retired and I write books instead of programs. My wife and I make our home in Tennessee.
I have always been an avid reader. I devoured the works of Robert E. Howard, (the creator of Conan the Barbarian). I shuddered at Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Sandra Brown, Michael Connelly, Issac Asimov, Anne Rice, Leo Tolstoy, and many others caught my interest. I particularly loved Louis L'amour's novels and how he was able to bring the past to life with his storytelling. His stories are what inspired me to start writing fiction. To date, I have published seven Western novels. The latest, Track of the Wolf, a story set in North America's fur trading period. I enjoy the process of creating a work of fiction and look forward to writing more western novels in the future.
I don't limit myself to westerns, as there are so many other avenues of fiction. The story Velvet Green is a thriller set in the year 1961. The novel, Night of the Beast, is a science-fiction novel diving deeply into gene splicing and gene silencing; with a side order of designer drugs! Currently, I am working on a science-fiction series, called Broken—two in the series, Genesis and Symbiosis have already been published. A third book, Morphosis is in the hands of my editor.
I used to play guitar! My favorite guitarist was Stevie Ray Vaughan but I also like Joe Satriani and the jazz great, Lee Ritenour. But my tastes are eclectic. I listen to everything from Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People to Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.The audio clip below is a from a long-ago practice session. I used a digital loop station and a digital drum machine. I played all the instruments: bass, keyboard, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, all dubbed over the drum loop.
I also enjoy photography. The book covers I created for my novels are a combination of my digital photos and a liberal dose of Image Editor and Photoshop. It is a challenge to come up with a cover image that is unique, yet stays within the style I have chosen to use. I try to make sure that the cover image reflects some element of the story. Sometimes, I even grab a pencil and draw an image to insert into the book. (The hawk feathers on the left are from a pencil drawing.) The images for the Sci-Fi novels are computer-generated using a fractal generator.