I was born in Wadena, a small town in northern Minnesota, where I spent a lot of my early years tying bowlines and trimming deer hides for my dad, reading comic books, shoveling snow, canoeing, scouting and driving my mom crazy while fighting with my two brothers.
My parents fostered a love of reading in my brothers and I at a very early age–most likely to get some peace and quiet. From regular Superman and Batman type comic books we graduated to classic comic books. Around the age of thirteen, I began to read the actual books that the classic comic books condensed. When I read Lord Jim, Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn I knew I had to write something. I still think the beginning of Lord Jim and the beginning of Moby Dick are the best two openings of any books I’ve come across; they hook the reader. If I could write one opening page even approaching them I’d be happy. Of course, then I’d have to get that second page, and the next…
If you aim low, the highest level you’ll get to is pedestrian, so you might as well aim for perfection. Even if you fall miserably short you still could be better than mediocre. I don’t know if that makes me an optimist or pessimist. My parents always said I liked to have it both ways.
Much later came a love of sports. I started late and gradually came to tennis; it was then that I began the search for that perfect down the line backhand. Growing up I liked to see the world through books, and those books inspired me to want to see everything I read about, from Thermopylae and the legendary site of Troy to the Galapagos Islands and Sri Lanka and a few places in between. What better way to explore this world than to coach and play tennis all over it? Picture playing tennis at an old colonial hill station in southern India where if you chased a ball into the brush you might meet up with a cobra or playing at a Peruvian city on the Amazon and hoping your opponent from Sendero Luminoso doesn’t show. After studying English, History and Classics at the University of Minnesota, I trained and worked three different jobs to make enough money to travel and play tennis in the “minor leagues.” With a short detour hitchhiking around Mexico after a car accident, I went to India and began to compete. You might be thinking you never heard of me and that makes sense. I never made the limelight though I still maintain I could have won Wimbledon if I’d gotten enough defaults. The good thing is I’ll probably have two books on account of those travels, one about Mexico and the other about India.
I currently live in Encino, California and divide my time between writing and running a tennis program at a country club. But enough about me. Enjoy the books.