This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side. We list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s persona we all like to project. Believe it or not, one of the hardest things I’ve done was to come up with a bio for my book. I use the same one on my blog. But I am human and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. I see this as a way to share some of them with you, my readers.
The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to at least 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I have nominated your blog, please don’t feel any obligation to join in but if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be me), share 7 facts about yourself and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).
I was reading some of the other blogs on this tour…. There are some remarkable and gifted writers here and I’m happy to be in their company. Many thanks to the talented JMDReid, whose blog, The Storm Above, is all about his writing, featuring his upcoming book of the same name. He’s just published his first short story called The Assassin’s Remorse. Cheers to you, my man.
Here we go with 7 Lovely Facts about me:
1) In High School everyone thought I was going to be a sports-writer because I love to write and I love sports. I played football, (tight-end and linebacker), baseball (starting 2nd baseman and outfielder), and hockey (left wing.) At the time I thought it’d be cool to combine my two loves. Imagine being paid to watch games. Then I got into photography and thought I could add that to my repertoire. We didn’t have a school newspaper, but I do remember that several of my photographs made it into the yearbook.
2) For a year in college I majored in Forestry. I love the outdoors and wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps – he was a Ranger in the forest service. When I was young he often took my brothers and me on fishing trips and hikes up in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I believe that my love of the outdoors and consequently the environment stems from my fathers dedication and love of his job. It turned out that my desire to write was much stronger than my grasp of chemistry and dendrology, so I changed my major back to English.
3) If I could have had a first career, it would have been a musician. That seems to be a common thread through many of these blogs. I’m beginning to wonder about the old adage that says, “short story writers are failed poets and novelists are failed short story writers.” Are all writers failed musicians? I don’t know . . . but I do know that music has always been an important part of my life. My uncle gave me my first guitar – an old Harmony. Guitars have come and gone but I still own that one. My parents enrolled me in guitar lessons when I was 10, and my guitar teacher’s name was Melody! If that wasn’t a sign of a budding music career then I don’t know what was . . .alas, I haven’t played in several years, now, but I like to think that it’s kind like getting on a bike . . .
4) I run marathons. If you know me, that’s not a big surprise. But many of you don’t know that I started running to help my heart. My cardiologist told me to change my diet and get regular exercise. I went through two exercise bikes before I started seriously running again. When the last one broke down, I’d had it with stationary bikes, laced on the running shoes, and haven’t looked back. I ran my first half-marathon in Houston in 2010 and my first marathon in San Diego in 2011. This January Houston will be my sixth 26.2 miler, and then in April I plan to tackle the 50K trail run at Brazos Bend State Park here in Texas. On my bucket list are the Boston, New York and Marine Corps Marathons.
5) I do most of the cooking in our house, not because I have to, but because I love to cook. I learned to cook for myself in high school because I wanted to make good pizza. From there the sky was the limit. My father always said that everyone should have a trade as well as a career. And since I graduated with an English degree, I thought that was sound advice. I started cooking for Byron Franklin Catering here in Houston in 1980. I teach middle school now, but the ten years I spent in The Kitchen were a great experience. My culinary series, The Neil Marshall Mysteries, are loosely based on those years.
6) You all know that I teach, but did you know that I taught for 2 years at an at-risk school in HISD? I got my teaching certificate through an alternative certification in Houston Independent School District. The school I taught at right after I was certified was an inner city middle school. I loved those first two years, met some great people, role-models actually, but they were challenging. I got a job the next year at Fort Bend Independent School District and have been here for 20 years.
7) Finally, I fly-fish. I didn’t pick up the sport until I was 32. My wife and I took a marvelous trip to her home state of Colorado. I’d wanted to go there since I was a kid. At the time, her family had a cabin in the Rockies near Decker and it was beautiful. She taught me how to fly fish on the lakes near the cabin. I love it. Fly-fishing is my laid-back civilized alternative to trail running, though the thrill of a trout hitting my fly is just as exhilarating and never gets old.
Those are 7 facts about me, lovely or not. Some of my favorite blogers are listed below. Participation is optional of course, if you have already been tagged for this, so sorry! If not, share some of you with the rest of us.
A link to each writers’ blog is embedded in their name or their blog, while their books, if any, have the direct links in the titles.
Chess Desalls author of Travel Glasses THE CALL TO SEARCH EVERYWHEN, Book One~a great title don’t you think? And Book Two. INSIGHT KINDLING, IS COMING SOON. Her blog is a lot of fun. Besides information about her writing, she posts flute noodling, “kind of like writer’s doodling,” she tells me, but they are very good. Every Friday she publishes a Frabble. What is a Frabble? Check out her blog and find out.
Lynette Creswell is the fantasy novelist from the UK who recently interviewed me (find that interview here.) My first Internet interview and she is very supportive on Facebook and Twitter. Lynette is a very talented writer who writes short stories, teaches Creative Writing workshops for local school children, and her Magic Trilogy series is a top seller at Amazon. Her newest book, ‘Clump, a Changeling’s Story, ‘ a fantasy adventure about an unlikely hero, unexpected love and deadly betrayal is coming out later this year. Sounds fun, Lynette!
Lee Mountford writes a great blog called Creating Bad, informative, provocative, and diverse. I’ve been one of his biggest supporters. He was one of my first Twitter buddies. His short story “The Box” published in the Horror Anthology, SERRATED TORMENTING TALES OF MACABRE, just came out on Halloween. I’ve read it and it is quite good. Congrats!
Clive S. Johnson writes an interesting blog on Goodreads and is also a good Twitter pal. In addition to being a kindred spirit, he is an artist, freelance editor, poet & prolific author of the REALM OF DICA fantasy adventure series available at all good outlets. I’ve started Leiyatel’s Embrace, the fist book in that series and I love it. He is currently working on his sixth book in the series, Starmaker Stella. Good luck, Clive.
Nicholas C. Rossis is another prolific writer whose works include science fiction, epic fantasy and children’s stories. Perseus, an epic fantasy series, and his science fiction short story collection, The Power of Six, have both reached number 1 on Amazon! His blog is chock full of content. Everything from advice on writing, marketing and publishing, to guest blog posts and author interviews are included. Visit the site just to see his many photos of Greece, where lives. He tells me Texas is his “fav” place, but after Greece? I don’t believe him. Thanks Nicholas for all the support on Twitter and Facebook.
Janna Kaixer dubs herself a left-handed 17-year-old writer, writing with a mix of night-owl enthusiasm, chocolate and tea. She says her blog: Words of Procrastination from a Young Writer contains productive procrastinations. It describes her writing process, daily life and random questions sure to tickle your fancy. She is currently working on an Urban Fantasy loosely set during the Industrial Revolution. She lives in New Zealand, or as she calls it, Middle Earth. And she listens to great music when she writes. Let’s all support this talented young writer.
Margurite Madden is the author and publisher of three books Once Upon a Western Way, Keeping a Backyard Horse, and My Butterfly Cancer. A Leukemia survivor, she founded a company Metamorph Publishing whose blogspot gives tips on writing, marketing ideas and hosts interviews with other writers. A little butterfly told me that she is planning two more books. Way to go Margurite!
Clive Eaton has a blog called Marketing Tips for 4 Authors full of very useful insights, tools and advice for every type of writer. His first novel, The Pyramid Legacy has a sci-fi plot twisting the fibers of history together with those of the future. Operation Stonehenge, coming soon, postulates that the architects of The Great Pyramid and Stonehenge were related. His website also has articles, interviews and helpful links. Clive has also been very supportive to me on Twitter. Thanks Clive.
Steve Lebel is an author of the humorous fantasy The Universe Builders about a young god who just graduated from God School out to build his first universe. Steve wonders if the years he spent as dungeon master or whether his favorite player-character a chaotic-good elven fighter/mage influenced his choice of topics. Whatever . . it was a winning combination. The Universe Builders won a finalist award from Stargazer Literary Prizes for Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction. Very impressive Steve!
MAScott is the pseudonym for a spousal writing team. They prefer the term because it best describes their relationship as a whole and how they write ~ as equal partners. Their guiding principal is “The person with the best idea leads.” Together they write adventure and romance. Their tagline says, “We’ve seen reality and it’s not for us!” They also have another blog, The Steampunk World of MAScott and one in development Romance ~ Suspense ~ Mystery. Well, here’s to another spousal writing team that make marriage and creativity work together.
Nonnie Jules Besides writing a terrific blog, Nonnie has two books out ~ “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love! and Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend. Her next book, “THE GOOD MOMMIE’S GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT KIDS,” The Next 100! is scheduled for release in between December, 2014 – January, 2015. A children’s book is also scheduled for release sometime in the near future. Nonnie lives by the the premise that a candle looses nothing by lighting another candle. Her limitless help to other writers is awe-inspiring. She recently started a publishing company and is also the president of Rave Review Book Club. Thanks to her and RRBC for all the help and support they offer. Nonnie you are awesome!
Bruce A. Borders is another prolific writer who has a terrific blog. Inside Room 913, Miscarriage of Justice, and Over My Dead Body are only a few of his numerous books, including the popular Wynn Garrett Series and can be found at most online retailers including Amazon. Find the print editions on his website. He is also a very talented singer/songwriter. Check out the link on his site to hear to some of his music also available on iTunes. I’ve listened to many of his CDs but my favorite song is “There’ll Never Be Another Johnny Cash.” Bruce is a man of vast talent and has been a great supporter of mine on Twitter. Thanks, man.
Jared Rinaldi is an actor, writer and student of life. His first novel, Hyperion begins the Bridge Burner trilogy. The second, Pyronic Technique is due out shortly. He also has a short story collection Tales from the Mountaintop available on Amazon, His blog says he is greatly influenced by music in his writing ~ a kindred spirit. I just started following his blog but so far I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Kathryn C. Treat is a real warrior. She has been battling a life-threatening allergy to molds and chemicals. Her book Allergic to Life is a harrowing account of living with chronic illness. Her blog continues that chronicle. She has been through far more than anyone should have to, yet she finds time to write, blog and help other writers. She is an inspiration. Right now she is going through a very hard time and I don’t expect her to join in on this blog hop, but her story is so amazing I wanted to include her just to share her courage and show my great admiration to a brave and valiant soul.