Usually, I’ll give some hoity-toity answer about ‘expressing myself’ and ‘all the stories I want to tell’ and the ‘joy of creation.’
The real truth is I can’t hold a job.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been fired, or the place I worked went out of business—well, I’d be sipping a margarita on a gorgeous white sand beach on a tropical island somewhere. It’s sad, but true. I’ve tried just about everything—fast food, retail, airlines, travel, bank teller, insurance, natural gas sales—but in almost every case, either the business shut down or I got a pink slip.
I finally realized it was the Universe telling me to chase my dreams and start writing—and I’ve never looked back.
At this time, under my own or one of my pseudonyms, I’ve published over twenty novels. I won’t list them here—they’re elsewhere on this site, but definitely take a look and buy them—they make excellent gifts!
I was born in Alabama but grew up in Chicago. I graduated high school and started college in Kansas, finishing in California, and then I moved to Houston for a few years. After Houston, I lived in Tampa for four years before eight months in Minneapolis (too cold!) and finally, I made it down here to New Orleans.
Like Tennessee Williams, I consider New Orleans to be my spiritual home.
I also spent a number of years working as both a personal trainer and an aerobics instructor. I trained for a while as a professional wrestler.
But the truth is, for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer.
And I’ve been incredibly lucky.
I’m currently serving as president of the Southwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and a term on the national board of MWA. I am also a member of Novelists Inc, the Authors Guild, Sisters in Crime, the International Association of Crime Writers, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers. I’ve spoken at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Words & Music, Louisiana Book Festival, Virginia Book Festival, South Carolina Book Festival, Lambda Literary Festival, Saints and Sinners, and Bouchercon. I’ve spoken to many high school and college writing classes about the craft of writing and about being a writer. I’ve been nominated for a ridiculous amount of writing awards, and have won a few times.
I’ve always loved to read, and still do. I talk about books I enjoy on my blog, and sometimes even interview authors I admire on there. I love to lift weights (but hate Leg Day), and before I got old I loved playing tennis, volleyball, and wrestling. I was a jock in high school—but I was rather hyperactive in high school: I also was in plays, competed in Forensics, wrote for the school paper, and belonged to any number of clubs and organizations. In college, I pretty much confined myself to my fraternity. But I do love to dance, and I love dance music. I love history and have studied it all of my life; the sixteenth century is one of my preferences for drama and spectacle. I also love American history, and can’t read enough of it.
And of course, if you have any other questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org– I LOVE to talk about myself! If you want signed copies of any of my books, you can call and order them from my home bookstore, Garden District Books here in New Orleans. (Visit them online at www.gardendistrictbookshop.com.)