Columbia, Mississippi, United States
Home page: http://www.wanderingmen.com
I am a Consulting Forester whose first love was writing. I wrote my first "book," a semi-literate picture book on WWII when I was in 2nd grade. As a hobby, I was constantly making up new stories, characters, worlds, and events through grade school. In high school, I created a world by first drawing a gigantic map covering 78 square feet of space detailing two continents on an imaginary world.
Including named kingdoms, castles, cities, mountains, rivers, islands, trade routes, and other physical features, my world remained a mere two dimensional work of art and nothing more. I wrote an encyclopedia of the world, explaining every feature while adding ruling families, waring sects, religious features, histories of each kingdom, and central conflicts within them.
Detailed as the book was, it remained "flat." Christmas break from college in my Freshman year, I decided to pen the story of the world. 300,000 words and two point two manuscripts later (I have completed two and am working on the third manuscript at present), I have managed to write only about the events of two kingdoms (one centrally with another heavily affected and a third moderately addressed only). Considering I created nearly fifteen kingdoms, I do not see an end in sight!
In addition to writing, I have a passion for the experiences which enhance writing. In order to describe ancient ruins or mountainous journeys or the real feeling of climbing through jungles, one has to actually visit ruins, trek through mountain passes, sleep in temperatures below freezing, and bush-whack through swamps. I have kayaked down miles of bayou in search of a ruins (discovered and explored them in salt marshes), crossed the Mississippi to explore Spanish and American ruins from the 1700's and 1800's, photographed Civil War ruins in Lake Bourne, and back-packed miles upon miles through mountains in every kind of climate and weather. I was a member of the Sky Warn Network, a group of advance-warning storm chasers while at Mississippi State University in the early 1990's.
When I describe a character climbing through the mountains, wet and soaked, my descriptions are from personal experience. When I describe the lush vegetation, the smells, and the humidity of dense swamp, I do so with true empathy for the character. I know the smells and textures of lost ruins or of frozen creeks, the taste of water from a running mountain brook and the feeling of showering under a water fall.
I thoroughly research any settings I might choose. What kind of sword would be carried on a ship? What purpose was a rapier designed to meet? What can a katana really do? I study the construction of swords and their histories so that my stories reflect the real capabilities and placement of them. My research is NOT the latest anime cartoon or video game. The ships I might describe are correct, my castle construction, houses of the time, even the clothing and method of speech (adapted to modern language of course, as few would understand language spoken a mere 300 years ago, much less 1,000 years ago).
Recently, I have become a member of the Wandering Men, a small creative writing group. My novella Fiend Fighter is featured in Skein of Shadows, a novel written by the Wandering Men and is published by Dark Quest LLC and available at Barnes & Noble, Walden Books, Borders Books, Books a Million, and several online sources such as Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.
Also, my short story "Refuge" is showcased in the anthology Southern Fried Weirdness published in 2007 by Southern Fried Weirdness Press.
Presently, I am running a regular serial on the Wandering Men website dealing with characters developed for Skein of Shadows. Updates are prepared every other week.
Interests: Writing, kayaking, backpacking, history, exploration, literature, sword/arms collecting with emphasis on 18th and 19th centuries, Napoleonic studies
Published writer: Yes