Originating from St. Louis County, Missouri, it was during my senior year in high school at Maplewood-Richmond Heights Senior High that I discovered more than a casual interest in reading, chiefly because of my college-prep English class and frequent trips to a local bookstore. It was that class with Senior English teacher Lonnie Aycock and all the wonderful books he had us read and critique in class discussions and what he called written “critical comments” that lit the flame for me. As part of the final exam we selected individual topics, conducted research at libraries, and wrote a detailed term paper, using and demonstrating standard, accepted protocols that we would need to be prepared for in the upcoming college years. I headed south with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, long since absorbed by Union Pacific, the day after graduating to put together some money for college and packed some paperbacks and my cheap guitar to keep me company since I was now venturing out into the world on my own. The three months in Texas and Louisiana during that long, hot southern summer would yield valuable life lessons along with the hard-earned money. And, many years later, that summer would be the inspiration for my debut novel, Southern Passage.
At summer’s conclusion, I attended Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, and after remaining there a while, enrolled at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. With a major in Sociology and several hours in Anthropology and Psychology, I graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
In 1972 I was appointed an officer with the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole in St. Louis and worked my way up through the ranks in various locations, ultimately serving as administrator in 1996. After a thirty-three and a half year career, I retired in 2006, and with the newfound free time, I completed my first novel, SOUTHERN PASSAGE. As is true with many first-novelists, I took what I knew for the endeavor and wrote about it, falling back on my love of all-things-railroading and memories of childhood train trips with my dad and brothers for inspiration.
My interest in playing guitar took off as a high school junior and has continued to this day. I’ve written several songs over the years and my brother and I periodically drag out our Martins and entertain ourselves while working our way through the beers and the words and chords on fading sheets of my music and his.
I reside in a peaceful country area of northeast Missouri with my wife, a retired deputy prison warden, expert cook, and avid gardener and enjoy the visits with our son and daughter-in-law. We love traveling the country and, like other baby boomers, we try to make a point of “snow birding” somewhere along the Gulf Coast, or at least reconnecting with it in short visits.