I was born in West Virginia. My first fantasy stories came in the form of “Jack” tales my father told me. You might be familiar with Jack and the Beanstalk. There were hundreds of Jack stories, many of which were brought with immigrants to North America, which were then modified in the retelling to match their new culture. So the Jack of my childhood lived in Appalachia, and faced giants, witches, dwarves, and there were adventures aplenty lurking in the woods over every hill.
Growing up, I was warped by episodes of The Twilight Zone–realizing that people could actually tell stories like that blew my mind. And while I was just as fond of Lord of the Rings as my geeky peers, my fantasy of choice tended to come from the more pulpy stories by storytellers like Robert E. Howard. I had no idea how old some of these stories were, I just raided my local libraries for anything related to science fiction and fantasy. Heinlein, Laumer, Lovecraft, Norton, McAffrey, whatever I could get my hands on.
Between that and an addiction to video games and Dungeons & Dragons, you know where my twisted imagination came from.
After college, I got a job in the video games industry, and worked on several popular (and several not-so-popular) titles for PC and consoles. Even after leaving the full-time games industry for less volatile work as a software engineer, I kept one foot in the business as an indie game developer. Currently, my day job is in developing simulators and training software, and part of my job involves work with Virtual Reality. Then I come home and write about virtual worlds. Some days I’m not sure how much of me is in the real world.
I currently reside in Utah with my wife, a dog, and a cat. I have two daughters who are grown and out of the house. I am still addicted to video games, roleplaying games, and classic (and new) pulp fiction. And, of course, writing.