Unlike many authors, I was not an early reader and can honestly say that I didn’t voluntarily read a book until I finished The Hobbit in sixth grade. After that reading became a vice and I ravenously devoured science fiction and fantasy stories. In addition to Tolkien my favorite authors included Piers Anthony, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen R. Donaldson, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Anne McCaffrey.
While history and science were my favorite school subjects, I didn’t see myself as a teacher and decided to major in engineering. I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where to get off campus as often as possible, I played water polo and swam. Thanks to some really good teammates, I earned Honorable-Mention All-American status as a swimmer in my senior year. Other than extensive lab reports, my writing was limited to crafting articles promoting the swimming and water polo teams for the school newspaper – we could never get a reporter to cover us.
Commissioned as an officer in the USAF, I was eventually assigned to a systems development position just outside of Boston, Ma. While volunteering to coach the base swim team, I met fellow Lieutenant Catherine Robertson, who was also an engineer. Less than two years later we were married.
Despite the fun of working on top secret ‘Area 51’ projects, where I never saw a single alien (dead or alive), I decided to leave the service. Cathy and I earned MBAs from the University of North Carolina. In something akin to what people in the witness protection program must feel like, we spent a decade navigating through the dual career corporate life, with seven moves through six states, eventually settling in Pittsburgh. After the internet wave crashed, my environmental interest led me to a brief stint in second generation bio-fuels in upstate New York. I learned a lot about the business and even presented ideas on how to jump-start the industry to United States House and Senate staffers. Nerd that I am, I’m particularly proud of one slide that compared bio-fuels’ capital infrastructure needs to the Manhattan project, the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Apollo program, and the Interstate Highway system. FWIW, my estimate was that it was about the same as the Apollo program or half the cost of the Highway system. Unfortunately, corporate realities caught up with our company and I was asked to relocate to Chicago.
Nothing against Chicago, but we were unwilling to relocate a ninth time. So Cathy and I decided to get into the franchised hair salon business. In addition to grounding us in one place (Pittsford, NY which is just outside of Rochester), I finally found time to write those stories that had been fermenting in my head since high school. As one might expect, my stories mix elements of science and history with a healthy dose of fantasy. I alternate releases between two different YA fantasy series. The Misaligned series attempts to answer the question: What happens when String Theory and Arthurian myth intersect in a small upstate NY town? While the Warders series recasts a James Bond-like adventure in a traditional high fantasy setting.
Cathy and I continue to swim and help coach the local YMCA team. When not writing or supporting my children, I enjoy reading, occasionally painting, and I’ve also recently taken up the ukulele. Current reading favorites include anything by Jack McDevitt and historical fiction by Bernard Cornwell and Steven Pressfield.