Biography

A Few Words on How I Came to Be Where I Am Now:

It all began with dinosaurs at a young age. And then came Ray Harryhausen movies, Greek and Norse mythology, voracious reading, and the glories of pulp literature. I had no choice but to become a writer—and the dinosaurs are still around.

I was born in Washington, D.C. but have lived almost all my life in Los Angeles. I did have a stint in Minnesota at Carleton College, where I earned a degree in History. Like many writers, I’ve worked at a variety of different jobs, and not always successfully: a story editor for director Roland JoffĂ©, a speed-reading instructor, a copyeditor, and (regretfully) a commodities broker. All of it was in service to create time to write novel after novel. I only turned to short stories in the last few years, but quickly eliminated The Writers of the Future Contest as a market when his first entry, “An Acolyte of Black Spires,” became my first professional sale. I had already developed the setting of “Ahn-Tarqa” and sold two stories in it to the wonderful magazine Black Gate before Writers of the Future opened up even more possibilities.

Pulp literature remains the most important writing influence on my work, especially the fantasy of Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard; the detective stories of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Walter B. Gibson; the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft; the adventure yarns of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Lester Dent; the Westerns of Frederick “Max Brand” Faust; the science fiction of Leigh Brackett, Jack Williamson, and E. E. “Doc” Smith; and the bleak suspense of Cornell Woolrich, whose first editions I avidly collect.

Aside from pieces in a number of upcoming anthologies (Candle in the Attic Window and Roar of the Crowd), I also have the two Ahn-Tarqa stories appearing soon in Black Gate magazine, where I have worked for two and half years as a weekly blogger on fantasy history and any other strange topic that flits through my mind.

I also have a novel set in Ahn-Tarqa connected to events in “An Acolyte of Black Spires.” It is titled Turn over the Moon, and I hope to have publishing news of it very soon to share with you.
 
When breaking away from writing, I am an active part of the Los Angeles swing dancing and vintage clothing scene, and wish the fedora would come back in style. I love movies, especially Westerns, film noir, kaiju eiga, and the entire catalog of Stanley Kubrick and Anthony Mann.

I promise to love giant monsters forever.