I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1979.
As soon as I was able to talk I was a storyteller, but I didn’t become a “writer” until about 2006 when I left my hometown to go and live in New England.
In the mid-90s…
Bryce Kreed, my flagship character of the Path of Redemption series, was a particularly terrifying reoccurring nightmare. By the late 90s, he became a roleplaying game character. When I moved to New England, without friends and family around me, he became something more. After I finished ‘The Enforcer’, the first book in The Path of Redemption series in 2009, I began to submit to just about every publisher I could possibly think of and got rejected at every turn. Now, when I say every turn, I mean every turn. The worse part about it was, it was just forum rejections. I didn’t even warrant a personalized one. I decided then to release it completely indie and no one gave a damn. So I quit writing.
When 2015 came around…
I was given the idea to start narrating audiobooks. It was this chance I took, and I met TJ Weeks. After narrating his work, Unfleshed, I was invited to write for his Painted Mayhem anthology. The thrill, the love, the everything that I used to feel about writing came back full force in a way that I cannot describe. To say that I felt amazed that the part of myself was back and important to me is an understatement. My happiness and adulation would only just begin because this is how I met my writing partner, Kindra Sowder.
After I got the itch to write back, I started working to finish ‘The Hunted’, the sequel to ‘The Enforcer’. At this point in time, I was still clinging to TJ Weeks like a newborn baby. He was all that I knew in the writing world, and he was and is, my good friend. One day I asked him about how I could start to get myself “out there” in the indie author circle. TJ told me that I needed to start befriending authors. My friend/mentor had to remind me that he was in a position where he had his name, his brand, everything. He knows TONS of people and that’s what helped him so he told me that I needed to do the same thing. When I responded that I knew him, he basically said that knowing him wasn’t enough.
One of the first writers that I reached out to…
Was the Kindra Sowder. We didn’t talk a ton, I didn’t want to be a bother, but when we did talk it was cool. It wasn’t that long after that I discovered her book ‘The Harvested’ the first book in the Permutation Archives. It was described in reviews as “A mix of the X-Men and The Hunger Games”. I wasn’t that big of a fan of The Hunger Games because, most of the time, first person narrative isn’t my cup of tea. I personally feel like I miss a lot of stuff, kind of like how I feel about first person view video games.
Either way, the description of the book intrigued me and I picked up her book on Kindle and I was enthralled. A tale of America over a hundred years in the future, ruled by a megalomaniacal dictator that has surrounded the US with a wall cutting it off from the entire world, having an annual tradition where the entire country has to submit to a blood test. If individuals have an anomaly in their blood that makes them a ‘Special’ they are taken away and never heard from again.
The protagonist of the series, and her opening adventure had me drawn in from the word go. And not just because it was Kindra, but because it is an amazing story. This was the summer of 2016 at this point. I had just put ‘The Hunted’ out but was still reading The Harvested like it was the last thing I would ever read. New story ideas were absolutely zero, and The Hunted was doing just as “well” as The Enforcer had. The feeling like maybe writing wasn’t my thing after all came creeping back up again and I knew that something needed to change, otherwise I would never be happy.
I got to a particular point in ‘The Harvested’ where I had gotten an idea. A year earlier, I’d started to write a story about a man waking up in a military hospital with no memory and being kept captive. It wasn’t going anywhere, so I abandoned the project but I didn’t delete it because…well you never know. The thought of this story that I had started working on, and an old roleplaying character I had in a Shadowrun (one of the greatest damn tabletop roleplaying games EVER! And if I can find the Sega Genesis cartridge I will go INSANE with joy!) game. Ideas started rushing through me like water in the Hoover Dam.
It was a burning hot day in mid July in 2016.
This is the conversation that Kindra and I had when the idea hit me as hard as it did. The following is the greatest example of me using my words to get what I want;
Kindra: Hi! What’s up?
Me: I had an idea that I wanted to run by you/get your permission on.
Kindra: Ok? (I could hear the apprehension in her voice)
Me: I want to write a spin off of The Harvested.
Me: So I have this idea. See I’m about half way through the book now. But let’s just say that the President is furious over what happened with Mila. So he has an ace-in-the-hole.
Kindra: Okay. (She’s sounding more interested now.)
Me: So Emerson King creates the ultimate killing machine to hunt Mila down and capture or kill her.
At this point I’m not going to give the entire details because you should read ‘Invincible Heart’. So we fast forward…
Me: So, what do you think?
Kindra: (quiet for a second) You have no choice now. You have to write this.
This started what has become one of the most important relationships I have in my life,
Both personally and professionally. Kindra, and her husband Edd, have basically become my family since that point. They have helped me in writing, given me advice that is invaluable to me, and put me in touch with Sarah Davis Brandon, my publisher at CHBB Publishing.
The last year of my life has been totally intense. Sarah has chosen to publish ALL of the Bryce Kreed novels under the Vamptasy Publishing banner, the John Baker Chronicles books under the CHBB Publishing banner, and my fourth book ‘Ed and Livvy’ under the Hot Ink Press banner. I feel truly humbled and honored by this.
Now Kindra isn’t the only one that has been there to help me. This is more me, talking about me. Kindra just happened to become the most important person to me in my career at the moment. The John Baker Chronicles is intertwined with the Permutation Archives, and we have other books that we are going to be writing together. We are connected for life and longer.
There are so many people that I need to thank for being helpful to me that there are just too many. I hope that including their links on the ‘Links’ page and them just knowing that I thank them daily is enough!