I have been writing for as long as I remember.
As a child, I was a voracious reader of both fiction and non-fiction. I read everything, science books, fiction, newspapers, hell, even the cereal box. I couldn’t sit down to breakfast without reading something. From a pretty early age, I read the newspaper, savoring the comics for last.
I began really writing fiction in junior high, now called middle school I suppose, as a way to deal with uncomfortable parts of my childhood. While it started as a personal outlet, I had the great good fortune of having teachers who saw a streak of promise and encouraged me. Even then I gravitated towards science and speculative fiction.
College was not a good time for my fiction, I tried fiction, took a fiction writing class and learned a lot I filed away but wrote some real crap. If you read The Daemon Muse in Songs of a Befuddled Muse, the story my thinly veiled self wrote of the dragon with a hole in its head is a real story that I am afraid someone has stored somewhere and will pull out to embarrass if I hit the big time. At the time, I thought I had to write socially conscious stories fiction. In my defense, it was the late 70’s but I know believe that good stories are about people and ideas, but shouldn’t be screeds.
After college, I spent about a decade as a newspaper writer and photographer for a number of newspapers in Virginia, DC, New Mexico and Ohio. My original college, University of Virginia was a great school and my Government and Economics double major gave me a great basis for work as a reporter but it took me a few more years to return to school at Kent State and take some journalism courses to round out my skill set.
Over the course of the years, I won a number of state-level awards in both New Mexico and in Ohio.
I loved being a journalist, it is the best job possible for someone who likes to meet people, explore new things and make a difference in the world. But even back in the eighties, salaries were incredibly low and when Lisa and I married, and our daughters Jamie and Jessie came into our lives, it became clear I had to try something else to make money.
Using both design and editorial skills I learned in the newspaper business, I started with graphic design, explanded into web design when this new interweb thing started picking up, I discovered I had to make my websites do things. Eventually, I realized I am a much better programmer than graphic designer, I’ve spent the last three decades as a consultant and developer. I do enjoy the work but I’d much rather be writing. Over the years, between time making money, raising the girls and, well, living our busy lives, I kept a hand in it and wrote a few good stories but it fell into the background.
We have two amazing daughters, Jessie, the youngest is our traveller, activist and now also a paramedic. Jamie, our eldest, is an amazingly creative and prolific artist. It was Jamie who knew of my secret desire to go back to writing fiction and who challenged me to begin writing in earnest again.
My first volume, Songs of a Befuddled Muse, is the direct result of her pushing me to reach inside for my creativity again. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude both for that and for her help with the many drawings and tattoos that enhance this book and this website. Please be sure to check out her site here (www.jayckarts.com), and her bio (coming soon) on this site.
Now that I’ve been writing again seriously for a number of years, I finally know what I want to do when I grow up. I love what I do, I love coming up with unusual, challenging ideas. I don’t think I can ever write formulaic pieces, I like to wander around the fringes and across the borders of genres.
I am already working in my head on More Songs of a Befuddled Muse but first I have to finish my epic fantasy (of a different, genre-bending sort) with the working title of The Hero Without a Prophecy. You can definitely expect many more stories in the Life and Times of Lady Jane Series. I put a lot of time and thought into creating a universe that can support a lot of interesting and challenging stories and two characters I love.
I will keep writing as long as my mind and fingers still work (which I hope will be for a very long time). I love hearing from people who have read my work whether they loved it or hated so as I develop both this site, my social media platform, and publish my book and open it up for comments, I look forward to hearing what you have to say and hope you will share it with as many people as you can.