From The Charlotte Austin Review Ltd.
I was born in 1950. My childhood in northeastern
Pennsylvania was not unpleasant enough to provide any assistance in my
future literary endeavors. After deciding I could not earn a living with
my degree in English Literature I went to law school, where I decided I
would not earn a living as a lawyer. Instead I found employment as a
technical writer of legal publications, which I continue to do but on a
freelance basis since losing my job in company-wide layoffs several years
The more important facts of my life probably begin with
my grandmother reading to me from "The Wind in the Willows", and my
friends and I regaling each other with running commentaries while drawing
cartoon strip epics on rolls of adding machine paper.
the fourth grade I spent more than a decade devouring science- fiction.
Although my reading interests gradually widened, those years of immersion
in unlikely futures and alien worlds left me with a taste for the exotic
in literature and the nagging, uncomfortable conviction that things don't
have to be the way they are.
My first foray into professional
writing came at age sixteen when I submitted a science-fiction story
to the usual magazines. Unlike Isaac Asimov I was not destined to be a
prodigy. The story came back as quickly as a defective Redstone rocket,
but without the spectacular explosion.
I first saw my byline in
print while at college, when I wrote a column for a local weekly
newspaper and garnered my first and only professional award, a Golden
Quill from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's
During my twenties and thirties I was busy going to
school, earning a living and raising a family, and only sporadically
exchanged bulky envelopes of typewritten pages for small rectangles of
rejection. I did write personal essays for what aficionados refer to as
science-fiction fanzine/ fandom, a hobby involving the publicationof
amateur magazines which, oddly enough, rarely have anything to do with
science fiction. For years I published my own magazine, the first few
issues of which were printed on a hectograph - essentially a pan of hard
gelatin used to transfer an impression from a wet ditto master. The
circulation for this publication was not very large.
however, I began to sell some of these essays to newspapers and magazines,
so my time in fandom was not entirely misspent - especially considering
that it was through fandom that I met my wife and co-writer,
Writing nonfiction resulted in some interesting experiences.
I had the opportunity to talk to people likeJeannie Moos of CNN and Jane
Yolen, was asked to run in, and write about, a 10K road race at a Vermont
ski-resort, got a behind the scenes look at a zoo.
Mary and I
sold our first story about John the Eunuch to Mike Ashley for his
anthology entitled The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunits in l993. We
have also co-authored, among other stories, a series featuring Inspector
Dorj, set in modern Mongolia.
Over the years I've engaged in other
pursuits, which may or may not be reflected in my writing some day,
including scripting comic books for a small independent publisher and
drawing pocket sized mini-comics starring the cartoon characters my
friends and I drew as children, and the household cats. Recently I've been
programming text based computer games, or interactive
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