Though I grew up in sedate Omaha, Nebraska, my adult life has been one of travel and excitement. My thirty-two year high-tech business career required that I travel globally and live in Germany for five years during the Cold War. While based in Europe and afterward, I ventured to scores of extraordinary and sometimes-verboten places. I took up writing as a hobby during these trips, often documenting my experiences while aboard lengthy flights. I published my first non-fiction book, appropriately titled OVER SEAS, in 1991.
At age fifty-four, I retired from my role as Vice-President, Human Resources for a huge corporation, allowing more time for writing and travel. Nine years before tensions with Cuba abated, I organized the first senior men's softball team to visit and compete in Havana, Cuba. More recently, my family and I shared several boating holidays in the Caribbean. In 2014, my son Christopher and I toured Beijing, China and North Korea. Chris and I then traveled to Vladivostok, Russia and Seoul, South Korea (and again into North Korea, briefly) early in 2017. More off-beat trips and boating expeditions are in the planning stages.
My journeys and life experiences have put me in many unusual circumstances. I have recently recorded some of my personal adventures in e-books that are available online. In early 2017, I published (paperback and e-book) my first fictional novel, CRASH COURSE, an action-thriller based primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. A sequel set in Key Largo, Florida, is now in outline form.
I am most thankful for good health and the love of my family--wife Julie and five wonderful and talented adult children. Julie and I live on the San Francisco (CA) Peninsula and in Key Largo, Florida.
Writing is both a challenging puzzle and a joy. Wordsmithing actual experiences--non-fiction--is about putting memories and facts into an interesting structure and an entertaining flow while sharing the excitement of personal discovery.
Writing fiction is a LOT tougher. At the highest level, the writer is still concerned about structure, flow, and (contrived) discovery. Because story details and characters are made up, however, one would think the writer feels total freedom. Not so.
True, the characters, the theme, and the results are all invented. But, a compelling read requires multiple storylines (some are dead ends), parallel timelines, and a set of diverse character identities and behaviors. And, unless writing science fiction, the settings need to be, for the most part, factual. Last, the confluence of the story lines needs to ratchet up the tension while resulting in a plausible, satisfying conclusion.
In summary, it is mostly made up, but like me, many writers need spreadsheets to manage all the story elements. It is a mind-stretch, but it is also very satisfying when it seems to work.