Birthplace: Tampa, FL
Current Residence: Austin, TX
Early Life: My family lived the nomadic lifestyle of outlaws on the run. Although, my mother has continually insisted—much to my disappointment—that was not the case. Throughout my childhood, I lived in dozens of cities throughout Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. Attending multiple schools—three in sixth grade alone—helped me learn to adapt and make friends quickly as being the new kid isn’t typically a fun experience.
Education: I attended The University of Texas at Austin. It seems like I spent time in just about every major until I decided that, as amazing as UT was, I eventually have to leave school. I graduated with a BBA in Finance with honors.
Childhood influences: The first book I remember reading was, The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. I still love that book and it was one of the first books I bought for my daughter after she was born. My first page-turner that totally engrossed me was either Jack London’s Call of the Wild or Squirrel Hotel by William Pene DuBois. I read them over and over around the same time and was enamored with both of them. I wrote my first graphic novel at six (er…okay it was actually a 7 page story on notebook paper with pencil drawn illustrations.) I plan on scanning it and posting it when I get a chance.
Work experience: I started working when I was 14, delivering fliers for a neighborhood pizza restaurant in San Antonio. I did that until adults working for a competing restaurant robbed my brother and me of our fliers at knifepoint. Although I didn’t see what the problem was, my mother felt differently, thus ended my very first job. I worked a multitude of jobs thereafter from being the first English speaking dishwasher in the history of one San Antonio restaurant to call center supervisor where I led a Che Guevara-esque coup against a horrible center manager (okay, maybe not that dramatic, but I walked out and a bunch of people followed, which was quite an achievement at 19.) As it might be obvious already, my work history was about as stable as my geographic locales were growing up. That changed with my decision to give up on being a career student and graduate from UT. I went to work as a management consultant for a Big 4 management consulting firm, and then ventured through the world of high technology ultimately ending up as an executive role at eBay Inc., where I was able to negotiate a flexible work arrangement and start writing full time.
Home: I live on a ranch outside of Austin with my daughter, Penny, and a whole menagerie of other animals.
Pets: Many. A couple of shelter rescues (and of course livestock)
In my spare time (as if I have any): I spend as much time s possible with my daughter, read voraciously and listen to books on CD when I can’t read, play the drums with a great group of guys, and on occasion paint and do various types of art work.
Interesting Facts: Although I’m fairly certain I was never ill mannered, I lived for the occasion when a teacher, preacher, etc. asked if I was raised in a barn. Because, I was, in fact, raised in barn. Growing up, the home in which I lived the longest was a barn my grandfather and family converted to a house. Another fact is that I am obsessed with haunted houses. Not the places filed with actors on Halloween or purportedly haunted dwellings but haunted houses themselves. There’s something intriguing about not knowing what is behind each window or door. I think this obsession started with two of my earliest memories: playing with my Weebles Haunted House and going to Walt Disney World and riding the Haunted Mansion attraction. I plan to buy a Mansard Victorian era home one day so I can live in my very own Haunted House.