Hmm... where to start? How about the beginning? Late one evening in May of 1982, my mother decided to stop taking her birth control. What's that? Too far back? My bad. Let's start a bit later.
I was born in 1983 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, MS. As I alluded to above, I was planned, and my parents were glad to have me. My dad was a book reading, beer drinking redneck, and my mother was a more introverted, church going type. One would think that to be like mixing oil and water, but somehow it worked- for a while at least.
Oxford, the town where I grew up, is a writing town. There was some dude with the surname Faulkner who wrote some stuff there, then much later came this guy named Grisham who also wrote some stuff. Lots of other writers lived there at one point or another: Donna Tartt, Richard Ford, Larry Brown, Tom Franklin, Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, and many more. I can't say whether or not the culture influenced me to write. I guess that would be a nature vs. nurture argument, which would be better served another day. Nevertheless, in the third grade, a voice in my head told me that I wanted to be a writer.
I didn't start writing creatively until I was 14, when I started writing poetry. I wrote poetry throughout my teens. I still have most of it, and most of it is horrible. However, I had started the process. I experimented with words, phrases, metaphorical language.
My teens were a rough period for me. I had become rebellious against authority. It really started when I was 12 and got worse as time moved on. My father filed for personal and corporate bankruptcy and that only made it worse. I had started to get into trouble and hang around with the resident weirdos and malcontents. I don't regret any of it, but I certainly wouldn't want to relive it.
By my late teens, I had calmed down. I transitioned from poetry to songwriting. I could write some decent lyrics, but I didn't understand music very well, so that didn't work for me.
The roaring twenties came and with it, responsibility. I didn't write much of anything for a few years. My transition back was I attempted to write a screenplay, which was a failure. Then I attempted a memoir, which was a much better attempt. I wrote many pages of it, but I decided it wasn't good enough and shelved it.
I got the idea around 2007 that I wanted to write a novel. I didn't have a clue how to write one, but a girl I waited tables with said, "So, just write it." In hindsight, that was excellent advice. One night in a St. Louis hotel room, I got an idea for a character. I knew it wasn't a complete idea, but it was a start. Things evolved in my head until one day I realized that I had enough to get started, so I did.
I started that book in 2008 and finally finished it in 2014. The book is called I Know This World Is Killing You. I know, you're thinking, "Why did it take him six years to finish it?" The reason is because I was distracted. I would work for a while, then stop. I chased money. I chased women. I chased careers. I chased a myriad of mirages and came up empty every time. I tried not to be a writer, but I kept coming back to the book. Finally, I realized that I have to finish it, for better or for worse.
I decided earlier this year that I was ALL IN. I'm a writer. I've accepted it. My plan is to keep writing, keep getting better, and to continue developing my voice. I hope you will join me on the journey.
Currently, I live in Nashville, TN with my dog Baxter.