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As a kid growing up in Northwest Ohio during the 1970s and '80s, I believed the Rapture would likely occur during my lifetime. When I was nine, I saw a movie called The Burning Hell, which prompted me to ask the Lord into my terrified heart that very night. For a few years, I thought I was on earth to save the world from hell. Disillusionment eventually followed, bringing with it plenty of material for stories.


When I was eleven, I saw another life-changing movie. This one was called Raiders of the Lost Ark. While it did serve as another vivid illustration of God's wrath, this movie inspired me in a different way: I wanted to create something as fantastic as that. I didn't have a camera, but I had notebook paper and a pen, so I was off to writing, and after I finished my first big story (it was called "The Silver Disk"), I knew I was in this writing thing for the long haul.


At eighteen, I moved to Wisconsin and got a job working night-shift sanitation at an Oscar Mayer plant, where I took advantage of various hiding spots in the bowels of the plant to spend hours writing. Moved to Oregon after that, and went back to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University. Then I rubber-banded back to the East and earned my MFA in creative writing at North Carolina State University. For the next several years, I taught academic writing (mostly), starting out on the adjunct shuffle before returning to NCSU for a full-time job. During my last couple of years there, I was the director of NCSU's Young & Teen Writers' Workshops. More recently, I've moved on from teaching to editing: I'm now the editorial assistant at UNC-Chapel Hill's Marsico Lung Institute.


In terms of writing, I'm actively seeking agent representation for two novels (A Travelogue for the Wasteland and Cate and Charlie), I've recently completed a collection of short stories about packing plant workers (Lost Time Incidents), and I've embarked on my next project -- which I'll keep to myself for now.

A clipping from my school paper, The Guardian, June 1987. The first solid outside validation of my writing.
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