I grew up in Michigan and Florida, but you could equally say I grew up in Tolkien’s Middle Earth and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. From the first time I walked through the wardrobe into Narnia, I knew that I loved fantasy fiction. It allowed me to dream of bright places and also of the dark and mysterious. In high school, I read voraciously and spent many hours playing roleplaying games with my friends. But when I went to college, I thought I should try to grow up and work towards a “real” career.
I thought I would translate my love for castles into an architecture career. I soon discovered that while I was okay at the art side of being an architecture student, I was horrible at the math side. After three grueling semesters, I decided to change majors. I didn’t know what I would change to, but I knew I wasn’t an architect. I went to a career counselor to try to figure out what to do with myself. He told me that I should take a variety of classes and see what I liked and see what I was good at. At the time, this seemed like the worst possible advice, but I couldn’t think of any better plan, so I did what he said.
I took criminal justice classes and political sciences classes. I took anthropology, philosophy and English. What I discovered was that I had a talent for writing. I soon embraced an English degree path and found that I could get A’s and be happy about it at the same time. When I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1990, I was again at a cross roads. Some of my professors at the University of Florida urged me to go to grad school. My father suggested law school.
I moved back home, while I figured it out. Since an epiphany didn’t seem to be happening very quickly, my mother suggested I get a job at the new local bookstore while I figured it out. I instantly feel in love with the book business. I met many authors and shared my love of reading with people everyday. Meanwhile, on my own, I worked on various projects. I have journals full of rambling thoughts, short stories and embarassing rants. I began to have a desperation to write. I was surrounded by books all day and I wanted to see a book of my own on shelf.
I worked in bookstores for many years, spending most of my time as a manager for Barnes and Noble. I worked in four stores over fifteen years and during that time I began to seriously work on my novel, Hawthorne. I realized early on that much of writing is rewriting. As a reader, I never realized how many drafts a manuscript needs to go through before it is ready for anyone else to read. But I knew good writing and I continued to work on my book.
In 2011 We were blessed with the birth of our son. As my wife and I contemplated how we wanted our child raised, we came to the conclusion that we didn’t want him in day care. We decided that I would stay home with our boy and take the opportunity to finish my book. Years later, I’ve finally finished my book.
I’m excited to share Hawthorne with the world! I hope you enjoy reading it and I’d love to hear what you think.