I’m a writer, obsessive collector of music, novice photographer, compulsive map drawer, okay bass player, and known for eating/drinking more sugary things than I really should. I was born and lived in Athol, Massachusetts (look for the Quabbin Reservoir in the middle of the state–Athol is due north) for a good portion of my life, with a five-plus year run in Boston, where I went to Emerson College and graduated with a BA in Film Studies. I’ve been living in San Francisco since 2005, where I’ve been writing in my spare time ever since.
I’ve been actively listening to music since I was a small child; my first musical memory is listening to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” on the car radio during a family vacation. I started my music collection in 1978 with The Beatles’ 1967-1970 compilation soon after watching Yellow Submarine on television and seeing Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the theater. My first music collecting obsession was of course the Beatles, and my music library has grown exponentially since then. I once had about six thousand titles in my collection in varying formats and taking up way too much space in my parents’ basement. It’s now all in mp3 format on a very small external hard drive on my desk. I am currently working on my first non-fiction project about “college rock”–that rock subgenre we all know as alternative/indie nowadays–specifically focusing on the time between 1984 and 1989, when it grew from a nerdy underground thing to Billboard-charting popularity. It is entitled Walk in Silence, its title taken from the first line of the Joy Division song “Atmosphere.”
I was in two different bands: in high school and college I played keyboards, bass and guitar, and wrote lyrics for The Flying Bohemians. From 2001 to 2005, I wrote, played bass, guitar, and sang for jeb!. Neither band ever got past the jamming phase, but I do have the lo-fi tapes we made, and I’d like to think some of those songs are actually pretty good. One of these days I should re-record some of them and make them available online. I’m currently noodling around with solo music, currently under the name Drunken Owl. I play bass (my first was a used Arbor Stilleto; I currently own a Fender Squier electric and a Dean acoustic) and guitar (Ibanez Roadstar II electric, a Taylor Big Baby 6-string, an Epiphone DR212 12-string, and a Makai MB70 ukulele), and have been known to noodle around on our cheapo keyboard as well.
My biggest musical influences are Peter Hook, Simon Raymonde, Graham Lewis, John Paul Jones, Simon Gallup, Peter Buck, Daniel Ash, Colin Newman, Johnny Marr, Robert Smith, Martin Gore, Morrissey, Michael Stipe, and of course the Beatles.
I’m a writer of mainly science fiction and fantasy. I’ve written a vampire novel and a science fiction trilogy, and have made plans for a time travel novel as well. There are other backburner projects of course, which I will eventually get to. I also write poetry and music. You might say I like to keep myself busy. I’m yet to get my work published (mostly due to time constraints in learning the craft and finding time to work on it), though I did accidentally get a paying publication in the west coast literary magazine Zyzzyva. I’d like to think I’m inching ever closer to that goal.
My first finished novel was born in 1984 and was finally finished in 1987, when I was in high school, and is definitely not worth publishing. Since then I’ve written in fits and starts until about 1996 when the Bridgetown Trilogy was born. I’m currently revising those books for submission. I try to write something every day, though my music obsession does sometimes get the best of me.
My writing nook goes under the name Spare Oom in honor of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a book I read as a child.
I’ve been doodling things since I was a kid, mostly for fun but occasionally for other reasons. I’ve been drawing maps since I was a kid playing with my Hot Wheels in the side yard, and have been known to draw detailed maps as reference while writing my novels. I briefly had a comic strip in my college newspaper entitled Murph, who was basically my intelligent, smartass alter ego. I currently own a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which I really should use more often.
I’m by no means a professional photographer, but I do like to take a lot of pictures. Check out my Tumblr site if you’re interested.
Enough about me–what about you?