Take your pick of the Slightly Formal Biography or Fun Facts About Me (scroll down).
I am a teacher, husband, and father of two delightful hellions. I graduated from The University of the South in 1995 and began my teaching career about two years later (in Wentzville, MO). In 2002, I got a teaching gig in the Chicago suburbs and I’ve been there ever since.
I didn’t consider “writing” as a career option until recently. Upon learning that I was an English major, someone once said, “Oh! Then you’re going to be a writer!” and I just laughed. That was the wrong reaction. If I could take it back, I would. The truth was that I enjoyed creative writing. I even thought I had some talent. So why didn’t I take a chance at it?
Logic. I did the math and figured I couldn’t make a living at it. That belief kept me at bay for a long time. In retrospect, I simply should have written on the side–honing my skill as I began my teaching career.
So it wasn’t until the idea for my novel hit me (and wouldn’t let me go!) that I began writing. That was 2007. It took two years to finish the first draft and I was very proud of it even though I knew it had serious flaws. I revised it for years and could continue doing so for all eternity. But it is finally ready. I hope it finds an audience.
Fun Facts About Me:
- I was arrested for forgery in 8th grade. I consider this foreshadowing: even then I wanted to be a writer.
- In 1999 I saw Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace 13 times in the theater because I couldn’t accept that it was as bad as it really was. As a long time Star Wars fan, Episode One’s disappointment was incomprehensible. I therefore concluded that the fault was mine—that I missed something vital—so I kept going back to find it. Damn you, Lucas! You owe me $200! Sigh.
- I can fly anywhere for free. This super-power is owed entirely to my wife who is a flight attendant for a major airline. If there is spare room on the plane, I am given a seat. BTW: This is the cool perk of her job and probably doesn’t compensate for the meager pay and occasional headaches. NOTE: Please do not take out your frustrations on flight attendants. They have no say whatsoever in policy and want to get home as much as you do. They are on your side even when you don’t think that they are. Not kidding.
- It is amazing how much I drank in college and the decade that followed. I still drink, but I am no longer the keg of a man that I was. Still fat though.
- I don’t make an ass out of myself nearly as often as I used to. I’m sure there is no correlation with the previous trivia point.
- I am a huge movie and comic book nerd. Many of my favorite movies are comic book movies—the dreams of my youth now made better than they were in my imagination. Thank you, Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon.
- I went white water rafting through a rainforest in Costa Rica. Amazing.
- I have lived in Fairmont WV, St. Louis MO, Flourtown PA, Daphne AL, Chicago IL, and I went to college in Sewanee TN.
- My brothers have jobs young adults everywhere would kill for: one makes video games and the other is a former comic book writer/editor who now works for a major toy company. Not fair.
- I was an extra in The Dark Knight, though I’m not in the finished cut. Still, I got to run up to Gary Oldman and annoy him. Sweet.
- I have a long list of goals/things I want to do before I die. I try to check one off the list each year. So far I have done the following:
- Gone skydiving.
- Visited middle earth (I went to the Shire set and other areas in New Zealand). I’m well traveled, but that trip was easily the most astonishing.
- Written a novel (unpublished—but it is good and it is finished!).
- Fallen in love, married her, started a family, and been the best husband and father I can be (okay, this one is ongoing and can never be “checked off,” but so far so good!).
- Things still to do:
- Get an agent and get published. I’d rather go the “traditional” route and have a book in an actual store or library, but I am open to some sort of online publishing. We’ll see.
- I want to visit Antarctica just long enough to build a snowman. Originally, I had hoped he would last forever, but with global warming. . . .
- Become a good golfer (I just started playing in the summer of 2012).
- Learn to sail.
- Hike into the Grand Canyon (I’m good with a simple day trip).
- Go to a game in every major league ballpark.
- Learn to play the bagpipes.