I see my other lives, a career in the Marines, those damn hand-written tests in law school, a business consultant, as if they’re stories from a book. I see my books as if I lived there, as if I were friends with the characters. All things we remember are behind us, only those we imagine lie before.
I’m not sure which place I prefer, but I don’t have to choose. They live together in my mind. My books have some award nominations, they have bestseller tags across multiple countries. I write about justice, honor, and loyalty because that’s what I care about. My stories are mostly set within worlds that haven’t been, but could be. We have to be ready.
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No matter where I went, I always had a book with me. Thanks to 21st Century technology, I now have hundreds of books loaded on my phone and always with me. This breakthrough allows me to binge read my favorites. How many books would I have read on deployments had I not had to have a physical book with me? I paced myself so I wouldn’t finish too quickly.
We aren’t encumbered like that now. I love the works of Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, JRR Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, and so many more. I have been compared to Andre Norton and that is humbling – she was an incredible author with a huge list of novels to her credit. With every new book, I aspire to live up to those that you, the readers, have compared me to.
Through a bizarre series of events, I ended up in Fairbanks, Alaska. I never expected to retire to a place where golf courses are only open for four months out of the year. But that’s the way it is. It is off the beaten path. My wife and I get to watch the northern lights from our driveway. Our dog has lots of room to run. And temperatures reach fifty below zero. We have from three and a half hours of daylight in the winter to twenty-four hours in the summer.