I was born and raised in a Podunk town named Beaumont, in the southeast corner of Texas, close to the Louisiana border. The town was an eclectic mix of Cajuns and blue-collar oil plant workers. My father was a high school coach and my mom was a secretary. I had an older brother and sister who were very independent; I don't recall playing with them much. They did their thing and I did mine. I grew up in a self-imposed solitude, building an imaginary world around me. Whenever my mother was looking for me, I could usually be found alone in the back yard, playing with my Tonkas and army men, quite content in the swirl of my imagination.
As I got older, my solitude continued as I filled my head with books that were way beyond my years: George Orwell, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, and true crime tales like In Cold Blood and The Boston Strangler. I read Fleming's James Bond series before I was eleven, the entire World Book Encyclopedia by the age of nine, and five years of Playboy Magazine by the age of twelve. Maybe this exposure to the adult world of sex, violence and murder took a toll on my young psyche, but it also helped propel my obsession with these topics. While my peers were playing little league baseball and pinning tails on donkeys, I was studying the macabre worlds of military history, fetishes, the occult and paranormal, espionage, psychopaths and contract murder.
I was a warped little kid.
My older years were fraught with the usual teenage angst. Rebellion, chemical abuse, poor school performance, wrecked cars, and chronic depression were the hallmarks of my adolescence. Nothing unusual in 1970's America. I got my act together at age sixteen and became an honest hardworking citizen, pushing my demons deep inside.
Throughout my life, art has always been important to me. It was my release valve for the pressures rising within me. In my early twenties, I dropped my pen and ink and took up the typewriter. I channeled my inner turmoil into words on paper. Poetry and short stories came first, followed by a few attempts at novels. The first novels were awful, but taught me the mechanics of putting a long, long story together. Finally, in 1986, I penned my first acceptable novel, Undercover White Trash.
The others rolled off the assembly line at regular intervals at that point. In 2000, after getting my fill of rejections from the mainstream publishing industry, I decided to self-publish my books. Critical acclaim followed two of them, and a small following of loyal and somewhat twisted fans began to grow.
The novel machine is still at work, churning out new material every day. Screenplays based on this work, or based on nothing but new ideas, is following.
I want my work to make people feel. If I write something sad, I want them to cry. If it's funny, I want them to laugh until their stomachs hurt. If it is scary, I want a shiver to run up their spine. I want to elicit an extreme emotional response in my readers. There's nothing worse than prose that walks down a safe and easy road, allowing the reader to stroll through the words without affecting their souls.
What does the future have in store for me: Fame? Riches? Or will it be obscurity and poverty? Either way, I'm enjoying the ride.