to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Growing
up in the Fifties and Sixties, when my friends and I played with our toy guns, it wasn't
enough to just run around the neighborhood pretending to shoot at each other. No, I had to make up characters and stories
to go with the action and insist that we follow the plotlines I worked out. I was an insufferable little kid.
As I got older I began to write stories for my own enjoyment,
beginning in fifth grade. I wrote all
through school and into college, discovered that there was such a thing as WRITER'S
MARKET, and began trying to sell my short stories. I
didn't have any success, though, and
was on the verge of giving up until I got married and my wife Livia encouraged me to
continue submitting my stories. I made
my first sale in December 1976, and by the end of the Seventies my work was appearing
regularly in mystery and men's magazines and I had sold my first novel, a private eye yarn
entitled TEXAS WIND. It was published by Manor
Books in the fall of 1980.
Since then, with a few ups and downs, I've written steadily and
sold most of what I've written, producing more than a hundred short stories and two
hundred novels in a variety of genres -- mystery, Western, historical, war, and fantasy,
among others. I've written under more than
thirty pseudonyms and house-names, in addition to several dozen books under my own name. Like some of the old pulp authors I admire, I've
cracked the million-words-a-year barrier on several occasions. It's been a lot of hard work, of course, but it's
also been a great deal of fun. And I'm still
at it, with numerous contracts lined up over the next year or two.
I've also had the pleasure of watching my wife
Livia develop into a popular, award-winning author in her own right. We've collaborated, both officially and
unofficially, on many, many books, and I never could have accomplished what I have without
her being right beside me. We've also raised a
couple of fantastic kids, both of whom are educators.
Someone once described a writer by saying, "He sat in a room
and typed for thirty years."; That's a
pretty good description of me, too, but I hope there's a little more to me than that. I love reading and have ever since my sister
took me to the bookmobile when I was six years old. I
have more books than I'll ever get around to reading, but that doesn't stop me from buying
more. I'm a big fan of movies both old and new
and at one point planned to write and direct my own films.
That never panned out, but I've gotten to tell my stories
anyway, in the pages of my books. I enjoy
sports, although more as a spectator than a participant these days. And I loved having the freedom of being
a full-time writer when our kids were in school, so that we could help out with things
like the math and science team and the PTO.
These days I'm writing more than ever and have no plans to retire
as long as I still have stories to tell and someone willing to read them.