I wrote my first story, The Dark Night, when I was nine. It was self-published.

On the cover is a picture I drew of what looks like McDonald’s Grimace character exploding. I’m not sure why. I don’t believe he made an appearance in the story. The only remaining copy lives on in the archives of my parents’ library.

I grew up reading novels. I remember the books and comics I read throughout my school years much better than the stuff I learned in class. In seventh grade I wrote an Encyclopedia Brown-type story with the classic “How did he know whodunit?” question at the end. My teacher read it to everyone on graduation night – kids, parents and all. It was a small school. They gave me a small silver mug as an award for writing it. It’s tarnished beyond belief now, but I keep it on my shelf of Things that Mean Something.

…bad art motivates at least as well as the good.

I began writing in earnest 20 years or so ago. In addition to fiction, I had become an avid movie lover, and at one point I realized I might have the sensibilities to write for film at least as well as the pros (I’d recently seen McHale’s Navy, with Tom Arnold, and learned an eternal truth – bad art motivates at least as well as the good). I took a class on writing screenplays. I eventually parlayed this into a career writing and producing short films, a job I continue to enjoy immensely to this day. Most of it has been with Broken Phonebooth Productions.

In that time I also grew in my desire to draw principles out of good stories, and get people to discuss and wrestle with them, even as I feel constantly compelled to wrestle with them myself. What is the nature of reality? Of good and evil? What is the point of all this? Is God really looking out for us, and if so, why would He ever want to? One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, addressed much of this eloquently and gracefully in his body of work. But he also did it through his stories, in ways that were at least as compelling, and were also deeply moving. What a corker that guy was. I’m going to get him to autograph a copy of The Great Divorce in heaven, and hopefully we’ll laugh at the irony.

I don’t ever want to use my words as tiny little clubs, beating an opposing viewpoint into submission.

This is the goal I try (try, mind you) to achieve in just about everything I write. And let me hasten to add, I don’t count myself amongst the crowd that believes “meaning” should be equated with “depressing.” Nor do I believe that meaning has to be obvious in its message. I don’t ever want to use my words as tiny little clubs, beating an opposing viewpoint into submission.  I see this from time to time and I find it insultingly pretentious and just plain closed-minded.

In the last few years I’ve expanded my writing focus to include comic books, beginning with Kayless, my first independent series, published through Silverline Comics. I’ve also written several feature-length scripts, one of which placed well in a national scriptwriting contest. More recently I’ve also engaged with more prose storytelling, and have several short stories in various stages of completion.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I’ve written as I write it. And there will be more coming. I’ve got the writing bug … except for me it’s not a bug, it’s more like a whale that swallowed me and yet refuses to shuttle me down the ol’ digestive tract. What else can I do but enjoy the ride? People pay gobs of money for a good sea cruise. I guess I’m just lucky. Or blessed.