Writer, musician, singer/songwriter, actor, hippie, media ad exec, business owner, Realtor. Not necessarily in that order. It's been a convoluted road.
I remember an idyllic childhood, which is odd, since my mother died when I was twelve and my father two years later. At fourteen, I'd lost both parents, and came back to the Ohio town of my birth, home also to my new mother (my dad had remarried.) She died nine years later.
Little wonder I took to performing, theater, movies, and books. Particularly to stories about death in one way or another.
My father was a Presbyterian minister who believed the Bible told interpretative stories, attempts to understand and draw lessons from the unfathomable, not to be taken literally. My stepmother, a highly intuitive person, read Yogananda. My questioning began early.
I studied creative writing as an English major in college. I was a terrible student. Beyond required short stories and college-kid poetry, most of my writing was songwriting. In those days, the age of the folk movement and protest songs, I believed the "new consciousness" emerging in my generation could change the world. The more I learned of spiritual, mystical teachings, the less I could know to be true. I questioned everything. I still do.
I returned to California as a singer-songwriter, then became involved with a theater troupe, performing in theaters, on the beach, and in the streets. Guerilla theater. Off-Broadway. Exciting, creative work, but reality set in.
Exhausted with the starving artist's life, I went to work in industrial design, then in advertising, in broadcast sales. All the while, I studied and practiced the craft of writing, never expecting to make a living as a writer. Now, at a ripened age, I've reached a place where I don't give a damn. I'm free of that fear.
I am a gay man, a fact I didn't come to terms with until my early thirties. Once I owned it, it was a wonderful opening. I did enjoy a short stint as a wild boy living the West Hollywood high life in the days prior to AIDS. Luckily, I met my partner of thirty-eight years, and we no doubt saved each other's lives at a time when many friends were dying around us.
Eventually, we left LA and the media business and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we had our own business. There, I dived into my writing, journaling and writing short stories, and finally embarked on novel writing.
We left Santa Fe after five years. I'm now back, again, where it all started. Oddly, while in New Mexico, I was compelled to set the novel in Ohio, in a town not dissimilar from the one of my birth and my high school and college years. As the opening of Dark Light says, referring to Thomas Wolfe's famous line, maybe you can't go home again, and then, maybe, sometimes you have no choice.