I started writing in Junior High. I wrote a series of science fiction stories in comic book form. My cousin wrote his own science fiction comics and over the summer, we would get together and write crossovers. I also started writing poetry in Junior High and all through my high school years, I considered myself a poet. The only school activity I was involved in, besides a brief foray into JV football, was on the staff of the Student Arts Magazine. Part of that was because I worked full time all through my high school years. After High School, I went to college and dropped out after a year and a half.
In my twenties, I began writing novels, though I never finished them. They were mostly fan fiction. I imagined that I had taken over the duties of Edgar Rice Burroughs, so I wrote sequels to John Carter, Tarzan, Pellucidar, and Carson of Venus. I also crafted two new stories. I reasoned that if ERB were still alive, he’d come up with something new too. The first was a fantasy about a reality just beyond our world reached through random doorways—kind of an edgier The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. The other was Amathar—a story about a man transported to another world, with all the Burroughsian elements modernized.
Princess of Amathar
I met and married my wife, and soon, had a baby on the way and I realized I needed to do something with my life. I had a baby daughter, bought a house, and started back to college all in the same week. After graduating, I became a teacher, and that and two children occupied all my time, though I wrote a few bits of flash fiction here and there—notably some little stories about a robot girlfriend. After several years, I decided to get back to writing for real, so I dusted off Amathar and began working on it. Over about five years, writing off and on, I finally finished the draft and went through many revisions. I printed up four copies for fellow teachers to help revise and edit. When I was done, I sent Princess of Amathar off to publishers. After many, many rejection letters, I put it in a drawer and never thought about it.
One day, I was talking with a colleague and mentioned my story. He suggested I publish it through Lulu, just for myself and friends. So, in 2006, that’s exactly what I did.