As a child, I was a reluctant reader. I told my parents I didn’t want to learn to read. It was hard. Later, I didn’t read because I thought it was uncool. I thought nerds and sissies read books. When I got older, I was just too busy.
I’ve always loved owning and collecting books, but was never much of a reader, apart from a stint at ten when I was into horror writers like John Saul, V.C. Andrews, and Stephen King, and a brief time at about 19, starting with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which put me on a journey of existential discovery. Like many Americans, I mainly read one book per year, during the summer, while lying in the sun.
This is a terrible shame because there were countless times growing up that my life would have been greatly enriched by the delicious escapism reading brings. Because I wasn’t a strong reader and had my supposed rep as a cool kid to protect, my escapism of choice was always film. I still love film, but realize now that story can be so much richer when experienced through literature.
I became a “reader” after finally finishing my undergraduate degree at 39. At that time, several unrelated events occurred that led to the inspiration for a historical novel that I knew I had to write. Since writers need to read—a lot—I started reading for research, reading for craft, and reading for pleasure, often at the same time.
In addition to becoming a reader, I began my quest to learn the craft of writing. I’d done some creative writing in high school and college and had planned to major in writing, but I fell off the rails at some point and hadn’t written anything—except journaling—in more than twenty years. I didn’t have a clue how to write a novel.
Many classes, workshops, critique groups, and conferences later, I’m still working on it. And I've become someone who takes pleasure in leisurely savoring a good book—even in public. Reading is hip!
My house has been filling with stacks and piles of books (I might have a tiny problem). I love them and cherish them and I will never give them up in exchange for an
e-reader. Some day I hope to have a few of my own books gracing those stacks.
Even though I still made time for reading, my writing was on hold for a while, however, while I pursued a Master's in Strategic Communication at Washington State University—Go Cougs! My goal for the M.A. was to learn to build a compelling and successful author platform and also to give me the skills I needed to change careers.
Now, after many years as a blue-collar worker, I work in communications and design in the public sector. When I'm not working, I try to find time to work on short stories, essays, and the never-ending task of revising my novel manuscripts.
My current passion is expanding my skillset in book design. Since becoming the graphic designer for the PNW literary journal, Crab Creek Review, and discovering what joy this brings, I’ve altered my path toward a future career in the book industry. This combines many of my passions into one activity! My dream is to operate a small press.
What I'm Reading
Check Out CCR
View the Trailer for My First Novel Manuscript
(an assignment for my MA program)
Listen to an Excerpt from My First Novel Manuscript
(an assignment for my MA program)
"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with someone and they don't have books, don't fuck them."