Hi. I just joined the site, mostly to promote my newly revised novel "A Conspiracy of Wizards," now re-published in e-book form and available for Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F07YZOK
). While I grew up as a fantasy and Sci-Fi fan, my novel is in many ways more informed by classical and world history and classical and world mythology, along with an interrelated set of academic paradigms across several disciplines.
I lived my life as if I were in training to write the kind of novel I wanted to write. I self-identified as a writer from a young age, and lived a childhood (in Glencoe, a North Shore suburb of Chicago often featured, later, in John Hughes films) that was outwardly mundane but inwardly surreal (as I suspect many childhoods are to those who live them). By my late teens and early twenties, my persona as a philosophical intellectual who'd enhanced his perceptions while communing with nature on a somewhat regular basis continued to draw me off the beaten path and onto one that, in my youthful faith in my own destiny, made my life far harder --but also far more interesting-- than it might otherwise have been.
After a couple of years at Southern Illinois University, I spent most of my 20s drifting around the world, including a two-year stint as an enlisted infantryman in the US Army stationed in what was then West Germany, stays on several kibbutzim in Israel and in a yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, a long trip through northern India and Nepal and Southeast Asia, a great deal of time staying with friends in Western Europe, and a variety of adventures that made my youth something that often seemed to be ripped from the pages of a novel itself.
I spent most of my 30s studying and teaching sociology (but also developing the novel, the world and underlying theme and characters and basic plot) as a grad student in Connecticut. I had already discovered "Chaos Theory" (which would become a cornerstone of my novel) and recognized that it was a critical piece of some puzzle about the underlying nature of our existence and our reality. I spent my grad school years enjoying the life of a professional student, gathering together and organizing the pieces of that amazingly complex and subtle puzzle while letting my imagination translate them into my fictional world.
I spent a year in my late 30s living alone in a cabin in national forest wilderness by a small river in the mountains of Northern New Mexico writing the first draft of the novel (and the rest of my late 30s in Albuquerque teaching and studying some more), my early 40s in Mazatlan Mexico writing the final draft, and the last eleven years in the Denver area teaching high school, going to law school, running for office, doing public policy research and analysis, and revising my novel one more time for re-release as an e-book.
In many ways, the novel is me and I am the novel (even though it also has a life of its own and is, I believe, far bigger than me). Though I married while in Mazatlan and now have a ten year old daughter who is the center of my universe, the novel remains another kind of progeny more closely bound up with my own identity, that trace we leave that is uniquely our own to weave itself into the tapestry of the future, of ongoing human history and the growth of human consciousness.
I hope many of you --all of you-- will buy and read my novel, which I described at length in the forum for self-published authors. It truly is very special. Thanks.