More About the Author
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio with a minor stop along the way for a few years in Las Vegas. I've done everything from working tech support for the elderly to stand-up comedy and short filmmaking, but my primary loves are writing fiction and graphic design.
A few highlights for my work:
I'm a graduate of the 2002 Clarion Workshop for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing, where I was mentored by some amazing folks including Tim Powers, Karen Joy Fowler and Geoff Ryman. I was encouraged in my writing by my two best friends and colleagues in the industry, Gary A. Braunbeck and Lucy Snyder.
That same year I got my first major sale, to a short story anthology called Masques V, the last of the same-named series edited by Jerry Williamson and featuring stories by heroes of mine like Ray Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite and Richard Christian Matheson (with a cover painted by Clive Barker, no less).
I've had stories appear in a number of small-press releases and magazines since then. I took a few years off in 2005 to try living in Las Vegas and go back to school for graphic design to get my degree.
I had a hard time writing in Vegas for some reason, I couldn't make it 'click' in my head the way it had all the years before, since I was doing my own little mini-books on school lined notebook paper in first grade.
Luckily, at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in 2007, I met one of my greatest heroes: Chuck Palahniuk (author of "Fight Club," "Choke," and numerous other works).
Chuck was not only one of my favorite authors, he became one of the rarest members of my personal club: the club of heroes who don't utterly disappoint you when you meet them in person.
I wrote him a letter and gave it to him at the lecture he hosted, since I felt I couldn't stand gushing and going crazy with all the things I wanted to say to him in person. Lo and behold, I got a letter and a 'care package' full of goofy toys and magnet poetry kits from him just a month later.
And one of the key things Chuck made clear to me in his letter was this:
"Even if you sell a million books and it pays all your bills, no one thing will ever make you one hundred percent happy. So don't bank on any external thing to solve all your problems."
Upon returning to Columbus in 2008 I got back into writing hard-core: "Sin Gorge" is my first novel to find publication, written in a 12-day fury sometime in the hazy month of March, 2011.
My attitude towards writing is that the best writers are never too satisfied with their own work and should rarely buy into their own press. My attitude towards publishing is far less printable, but basically revolves around the idea that writers today, particularly in 'genre' fiction like horror and fantasy, need to raise the bar and force the readers to come back to realizing that you can have great storytelling that doesn't condescend or go to the readers' lowest common denominator of stupid.
Smarter writing raises better readers. Period. If you want to write to the most basic instinct of the readership out there, feel free to go write about sparkly vampires in love with hairless werewolves. I want to write something that is worth the readers' money, but more importantly, worth their time that they've given me, their attention and faith that I won't trash all that investment with boring characters and formulaic plots.