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About me, the author


I like to tell stories. That’s the most important thing about me, in my opinion. Stories are important to people whether they know it or not. I’m sure Neanderthals told stories, as soon as they learned to speak. What is the Moon, and where does rain come from? If you don’t know, make something up. Then the World begins to make sense.


I started making stories when I learned to read. I think I was about eight when I read my first novel, which I bought myself. That was The Scarecrow of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. I recall I paid fifty cents for it, in a “junk store.” We didn’t call them thrift stores in those days. I was addicted to the Oz stories for a long time, till I graduated to Edgar Rice Burroughs.


Burroughs had an excellent vocabulary and a grammatical, vivid style. I am sure he has influenced me to this day. Once, when I was in grammar school, I saw a teacher confiscate a copy of Tarzan from a girl. She called it “trash.” I realized that teachers, like other experts, don’t always know.


As to my biography, I grew up in San Francisco after my parents escaped the Minnesota winters. We lived in old Victorian flats that still had the old gaslight fixtures, though they no longer worked. We also had a built-in “cooler,” which was a box that hung outside a window. It was for keeping food cold when you didn’t own an icebox. Our apartments had high ceilings and were cold most of the time.


Having nothing better to do, I joined the Army after graduating from Mission High School. It was between wars. Nobody was shooting. The three years I spent in military were the best education I ever received. Among other things, I learned how to use a screwdriver, clean, make my bed, and handle high explosives. After that I got a college education, but didn’t learn as much.


At various times, I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York City, and Mexico City. That’s not counting the places I lived in the Army. These days I hang out in a small town called Lakeport in north California. I get to live by a lake and under a volcano. I had several different jobs in civil service, but these days my real job is telling stories. I hope you will like them, and maybe pass them on to the next Neanderthal you meet.


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