This one time at Writer's Camp…
Well, what is there to say really? Judging from the emails I get, quite a bit I suppose.
First off, I want to clear the air a bit about a common misconception. I wasn’t one of those kids that walked around telling everyone that they were going to be a writer when they grew up. Heck, when I went to college Istill had no intention of becoming a writer. I had dreams of being a historical journalist (don’t ask, it made sense when I was 23), not writing fiction. I wanted to travel the globe, study native cultures and teach them how to record their history for future generations. How to preserve their folklore and family history. It was a noble idea, and one that fell flat on its face the moment I faced the harshness of reality.
You have no idea just how hard it is to get funding for something like that.
Up until about two years ago, I still didn’t consider myself a writer. Sure, I had written four books by that point, but I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I just figured I was killing time in between jobs, filling those lonely days by creating worlds in which people might want to play in. Well, people being me, but you get the point.
My friend Leo told me one day while I was discussing this new project I had started that, under no uncertain circumstance, was I allowed to deny being a writer any more. I asked him why, and he replied with “Dude, you’ve written more books than most writers”.
So yeah, that’s how I became a writer.
The story about how I came to be in movies is far more convoluted…
Oh, details about my life? Generalization didn’t sit well with others last time, so the full monty is expected. That’s fine, though it’s a bit unsettling.
I am a rape survivor. Afterwards, when I was 4 years old, I was placed into protective custody and spent the next 8 years in various group homes and institutions as the state tried to figure out what to do with me. I was an angry little kid who had no shot, and was told at the age of 7 that I would more than likely be dead or in jail by 21. And while I was an angry child, I was also very, very stubborn. But that stubbornness needed a catalyst of some sort, something that would push me to be better than what everyone thought I would ever be. That catalyst came when I was 12 and I met my foster dad, Max (Corruptor is dedicated to him). He gave me a chance, and even when I tried to screw it up, he never gave up on me. Because of that, and pushed by him to believe in myself, I found out who I was, and that I’m only worth as much as I believe I am.
I went to college. I joined the Navy. I became a writer. All because of him. Since then, I’ve moved around a bunch. I’ve lived in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia. I’ve failed more times than I can count, but I keep pushing. I keep trying. I’m successful because I refuse to give in, to give up. And even though I know that the man who hurt me all those years ago is free and clear, having faced almost no punishment in a court of law (6 months probation is not what I like to call punishment of any sort), I am not afraid.
Yeah, there’s that stubborn streak rearing its head again.