I grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating and taking a year to figure things out, I joined the U.S. Army and was initially stationed in Alaska. I planned to make a career out of it, but my body had other plans and after just three years I was discharged under medical conditions. Although I am disabled now, I don’t regret a single thing I did.
After leaving the army, I went back to school and studied auto mechanics. Soon, I realized I missed Alaska. I quit school, packed up my family, and moved to Fairbanks. I spent almost 10 years there, working at the local Ford dealership. I explored the vast wilderness of Alaska with a passion; hunting, fishing, and off roading were some of my favorite pastimes. There is no place in the world quite like Alaska. But, as fate would have it, the economic downturn of the late 90’s had me searching for work again. Back in Minnesota for a wedding, I glanced at the classifieds and knew I had to make a change, so I packed up my family and returned to Minnesota.
I picked up a job with an armored courier. The clients were great but management was terrible, so I made another switch, working security at a local casino. My coworkers were awesome, but this was not meant to be a career for me. Within the year, I was offered a government job where I work to this day. I must say, working for the federal government has its benefits.
Along the way I’ve married and divorced three times, a glutton for punishment, I guess. But I’ll be brutally honest, my failed marriages were not all their fault; I had a lot to learn as a husband. They were expensive lessons, but ones I learned nonetheless. Even though the marriages failed, they produced two beautiful and smart girls that I’ll never have enough time with.
Eventually, I remarried again, but this time it was to a wonderful and talented woman. She inspired me to write my first novel. I’ve always loved writing and have written several short stories and opinion pieces, but she convinced me to take on something more meaningful. This story had been floating around in my head for the better part of 30 years. With her insistence and promise of help and support, I began to write in March of 2018. For me the story and plot came easy. I refer to this process as building a house. I laid the foundation, which was the plot. I framed the house, which became the story. I installed the roof and walls, installed the electrical, and the plumbing, which were the details of the story and how it flowed. Then she came along and did all the rough editing, a painstaking but very important process. She performed the finishing work and the interior design, installing the trim, the carpet and flooring, and all the nice fixtures. She took that house and made it beautiful and palatable for people to read. This never would’ve happened without her. Her support, relentless hard work and eye for details keeps this project moving forward.
Eventually, I sent the manuscript to a freelance editor for a final revision. A little more polishing and I was ready to query agents, which is what I am currently doing. I did receive an offer from the publisher Austin McCauley, but I turned it down. My desire for representation means more to me than just having it published by anyone. I appreciated their offer and they had many glowing things to say about the manuscript, but I believe this story deserves something more. Something only an agent can offer.
I also think of this book as like my baby. I have created this child, and soon I’ll find an agent to “deliver” it into the world, for it deserves to breath and touch people’s lives like it has mine.
My next step is to turn this endeavor into a full-time gig. I’ve realized that I have the gift of story-telling. I can entertain others while they set their cares and worries aside, slipping into the world I create for them, losing themselves and track of time by becoming immersed in the suspense and drama of a fictional character.
A good story teller is like a great artist, only we paint the pictures with words.