The first question most people ask when they find out what I do is, "How did you become a writer?" They usually ask this with an incredulous look on their face, and to be honest, I never know exactly how to answer. So I laugh and just say, "It's a long story."
You see, I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and spent twelve years with Big Blue (i.e. IBM, for the uninitiated). And that's not your usual path to a publishing career.
So how did I go from Computer Programming to writing thrillers?
Well, my first love has always been books. I started reading everything I could get my hands on as far back as grade school, wanting, even then, to rewrite stories my own way, either changing the endings or creating new adventures for the characters. However, I didn't actually start writing until high school. My first attempt was a serial story about a cowboy who was a cross between Cat Balou and Jesse James - the fictional character not the real outlaw. I'd write a chapter and pass it around to my friends, then write another. I never finished that story, which is probably a good thing. It was pretty bad. LOL!!
By college I'd graduated from writing westerns to science fiction short stories that bore a strong resemblance to Star Trek. Are you seeing a pattern here? I like to think that all those "takeoff" stories were just practice for the real thing.
Funny thing though, during all that time, it never occurred to me that I could write for a living. In college, I didn't even consider majoring in Journalism or English. In my mind, I needed a technical degree to be self-sufficient. So, it wasn't until I'd been working for IBM about seven years that the writing bug bit again. I attended a writer's conference in Orlando and met dozens of people writing all different types of fiction and nonfiction. That weekend changed my life. Literally.
I came home and started writing in earnest. I also joined writer's organization, attended writer's conferences, read 'how-to' books, and generally immersed myself in the publishing world. It took me five years and writing three complete manuscripts to sell my first book in June of 1993. I left IBM a year later, and as they say, the rest is history.
Now, thirteen years, twelve books, and three pseudonyms later, I'm writing supense novels for Ballantine Books and loving every minute of it. It's what I've been working toward since that first conference in Orlando.
Author Of BLIND RUN, OUT OF REACH, and OUT OF TIME