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How I Got Here Part 1: The Father/Daughter Connection

Posted on August 12, 2011

Welcome to my site. I want to share my experiences as an author gunning for agent representation, while at the same time, seeding the waters with my self-publishing ventures.

How I got here is all due to a simple statement from my daughter and the works of a fellow writer who haunts islands of fog (www.unearthlytales.com).

I'm a teacher. I currently teach fifth grade in North Carolina and love working with that age. Their interests tend to be mine: comics books, video games, science fiction and monsters. We moved to North Carolina from Maryland to have a house where we could stay for twenty to thirty years and raise our two loveable children. Before our move, I had been very involved in creating comic books both as a writer, artist and editor. I've had my work published by Marvel, Caliber, Slave Labor and was having modest success with my self-published projects: IMAGINATION ROCKET (an anthology geared for the classrooms) and MARVIN THE DRAGON ( a comic book that doubled as a birthday card). When we moved down to North Carolina, my output trickled to a halt. My interest in doing comics sort of fell to the wayside as my children were coming of school age.

My daughter knew I had published a few projects, both comics and a few novels, but she had never really seen me work on anything. She was becoming more aware of how her fellow classmates perceived me as this wildly imaginative author who got them brainstorming and loving writing, but she couldn't recall having seen me do any writing. Three years ago, she said to me: "Why don't you write again? I want to see you write a story."

I was so struck by this I vowed to write a book a year for the next sixteen years and start submitting to agents. Ambitious, but doable. I knew what I could do from the many projects I had shepherded to publication in the comics industry. Up until three years ago, I had written three other novels and published them myself for sale at the conventions I went to. I had never sent them out to agents and had never actively pursued writing in that way.

Her interest in my work fueled me big time. I wrote TAGALONG, a delightful fantasy about false quests and monstrous hybrids. A year later, I wrote IRVING WISHBUTTON, a character who attended The Questing Academy to learn how to be a proper hero in his book. Year three brought FLAME AND FORTUNE, a brash tale of a fire elemental and a were-elf who team-up with a willful will-o'-wisp. Also in the third year, I participated in NANOWRIMO, writing a complete story in a month called STOMPER REX. Now it's year four and I've almost completed TURNCOATS, a YA zombie novel that really raises the stakes as far as action and apocalyptic consequence.

TURNCOATS is on target to be done by October, with NED FIREBREAK waiting in the wings for me to start by year's end.

Along the way, my daughter took up the writing habit, penning numerous stories herself at the second computer in our studio. We both drew inspiration from each other and it amazes me when she concocts such wild stories as THE BEASTIES BELOW, NAUGHTY NAVIN and SARANA CAPETTE.

I'm beginning the painful process of submitting, making strides in getting some requests for partials and encouraging handwritten invites to submit again. I know it's a matter of persistence, enjoying the writing and continuing to grow as a writer and person that will lead me to getting an agent. My plan to write sixteen books in sixteen years will afford me the opportunity to have a plethora of projects to shop around when my big break finally happens.

But I don't travel the path alone. Along the way, I met a fellow writer with astonishingly similar tastes doing the same thing as me. It is because of that writer I have a web presence again. In Part Two, I'll relate to you how my frequent visits to my childhood idol's, Piers Anthony, website, led me to corresponding with Keith Robinson, author of the brilliant fantasy series ISLAND OF FOG.


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