I live in Washington, D.C.—the city, not the burbs—but I was born in Texas, as were my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and at least some of my great-great grandparents. Most of my pre-Texas heritage seems to be Irish and Scottish, tempered by the American south, so I tend to think of myself as a Celtic-Texan-American.
Like a lot of people who couldn't figure out what to do with their lives, I went to law school (at the University of Texas), and even practiced law for a lot of years. I managed to concentrate on low income housing and food co-ops, guaranteeing that I never made much money out of law.
I work as a legal editor, editing a legal publication on class actions. I know more than anyone should about the big tobacco cases, the city suits against the gun industry, and diet drug class actions. It's interesting work—I get exposed to the cutting edge in the law without having to actually practice it.
I've been writing on and off since college, but I actually got serious about it about 10 or 12 years ago. In 1997, I attended the Clarion West writer's workshop in Seattle—click here to read about Clarion West and to see a picture of me with my classmates. Since Clarion I have established a small toe-hold as a writer. I'm an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Many of my classmates from Clarion West 1997 have become close friends.
I'm a proud child of the Sixties who marched and organized against the war and once hitchhiked throughout the western U.S. I haven't traveled much abroad, but I've spent time in all 48 of the contiguous states: I like to drive, at least when I'm not on the East Coast.
I began studying martial arts in 1979, starting with karate, and presently hold a third degree black belt in Aikido. I train at Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, under Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan. I also teach at the University of Maryland Aikido Club in College Park, Md. Along with writing, Aikido plays a major part in my life.