At some point while I was still a kid I began reading--not because I had to--but because I fell in love with it. I recall leaping ahead in the readers in grade school, and enjoying learning new words. While working as a library assistant in junior high I used to check-out the maximum number of books allowed, then sneak more home in my book bag because I knew I'd burn thru them; I'd sneak them back later.
The game changer came when a family friend gave me my first Edgar Rice Burroughs novel - Tarzan and the Golden Lion. Burroughs quickly became my favorite author. It's due in great part to his influence that I write, with much of my material being influenced by the worlds manufactured by the creator of Tarzan and John Carter - lost races, forgotten cities, heroes and beautiful maidens. To be sure, thousands of authors have written such tales; but I liked Ed's.
I spent many of my formative years reading Burroughs' works, these quickly followed by his contemporaries of the time - Robert E Howard, HP Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and others. It wasn't until after watching the John Carter movie that I became inundated by those mysterious things which drive writers to write - the urging of ideas, and the irresistible promptings of the mysterious muse.
I spent about 3 years writing a trilogy of novels set on Barsoom - the Mars created by Burroughs (this has since been converted to a 6-volume series). After completing these Mars novels, I decided to embark on a series of pulp-style stories the ideas for which I had conceived while the Mars tales were unfolding. I had set these aside temporarily until I had time to devote to them. It is these stories I wish to highlight with this site.
Why do you mostly write short, bizarre, weird little tales?
Having become fascinated with the works of any particular author one's natural tendency is to seek out others who write along similar lines. For me it became pulp era authors - the guys who cemented the genres we love into what they've become today.
Many of the genres that now exist had their humble beginnings in the pages of magazines 'back in the day'. Most of my favorite authors are guys who wrote in the 1920s-1940s for magazines such as Adventure, Amazing Stories, Argosy, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Strange Tales, Weird Tales, etc.
Their stories were typically odd, macabre and adventurous in nature. Many of these classics belong in the short story category. I've read these tales for so long that when I started writing original, pulp-style material, I naturally fell into this type of brief ,bizarre tale.
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The Messy Cave
Seriously, it's a mess, much more so than in this photo--which I should update. This is a typical shot, though, of my cluttered office where I often write and paint and store old helmets