- Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m a long-time Dungeon and Dragons player. The first few games I was prepared as the Dungeon Master (DM) came from existing modules that can be bought from most book or gaming stores. But as I matured and gained more confidence as a DM, I preferred writing my own games using my own ideas. Using experience gained as a technical writer in my civilian job with the USAF, my games were extremely detail orientated, original, and offered up adventures that were tailored around the players themselves. My modules were standalone… but they were also built to serve as steppingstones in a much larger storyline. It wasn’t long before my players – my friends – were saying I should write a book. After I retired, I set out to do just that. The genesis of The Salvation of Innocence came from a storyline in one of my games. And every one of my D&D friends are characters in the books (trilogy, actually). It was easy to develop their personas because I’ve known them for decades.
- What is something unique/quirky about you?
I refuse to watch any live game on TV that one of my favorite teams is playing in (particularly Oklahoma University football). I consider myself a jinx. This goes back to the early eighties. My wife reports to me during the game with scores and updates. I won’t even watch another game because of the scores that scroll along the bottom. I’m not just quirky, I’m weird.
- Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
It was 1993 and I was a First Level Supervision at Tinker AFB. Part of my responsibilities was the management of all the communications records for all Air Forces bases and sites worldwide. There was a near-fatal accident at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, when a project installation team member went into an electrical manhole instead of a communications manhole. Part of the accident findings referenced faulty records. I was sent to help resolve any of the issues within my purview. While there I was able to take a tour of “the Mountain”, a huge complex built underneath an actual mountain. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
- What are some of your pet peeves?
Hypocrisy. Double standards. The phrase “At the end of the day.” (Though I’ve caught myself saying it every once in a while.) Lying. Messiness.
- Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Sioux City, Iowa. (My father was stationed there while he was in the Air Force. It’s where he met mom.) When I was about four, we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where dad was from. A little while later we moved about forty miles east to the town of Fayetteville, Ohio. We lived there until I was about twelve, then we moved back to Cincinnati.
- If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
With family. I’d also smoke a few cigarettes. I quit a little over twenty-five years ago and still miss them from time to time.
- Who is your hero and why?
The easy answer is dad. Though my family wasn’t rich, we always had what we needed, including an example of how we should live our lives. I also had a boss with whom I worked for many years. A lot of my ability as a writer is due to his tutelage. Then there’s the American veteran, especially the combat veteran. Two words sum up “Why?” Our freedom.