I wrote my first story when I was 5 years old. Well, actually I dictated it to my older brother who wrote it down onto some drawing paper that we folded in half to make a booklet. But I drew the pictures. The story was about a monster that hatched out of an egg at breakfast one morning and was later scared away by a brave 5-year-old with a flashlight.
That was in Pennsylvania, the land where I spent most of my life. After college I experienced periods of exile. I went to seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota but returned three years later to look for work as a pastor. Instead I found a new ministry as a librarian and writer, both of which brought me to Kansas City, Missouri where I now own a house. It feels strange and sort of treacherous to own land in Missouri and not in Pennsylvania, but I’m trying to deal with it. I think of my house as a Pennsylvanian colony in the Midwest.
I wanted to write since I was a kid. I loved writing so much that I no longer try to keep count of how many stories I started but never carried past Chapter One. Still, writing was always a love of mine. Even in college and seminary, I would write fictional beginnings to essays or term papers to give a proper setting for the explication I was about to give. My first real attempt at writing a novel came during my first week of finals in college. Bible majors have few finals, in case you ever wondered. So while everyone I knew was stressed and staying up late cramming for weighty exams, I snuck off to the computer lab to eat Kit-Kats and write about a disgraced submarine captain and his search for redemption.
I became a professional writer in 2005 when I was paid the princely some of $15 for a book review of The Da Vinci Code. It might have been $1,500 for the way it made me feel. Over the next two years, I published a number of reviews and group/individual study guides for SEEK magazine (now titled In Part), a quarterly publication of the Brethren in Christ denomination.
In my current life I work full time as a corporate librarian, and I fit writing in around the edges. I still participate in Nanowrimo and Camp Nanowrimo.