I didn't choose to write as much as writing chose me. As a youth I read a lot and fed my imagination with a wide variety of stories. I daydreamed, scripting my fantasies in detail. To this day, I have a rich inner life: stories keep going around in my head and it is a challenge to find the time to get them onto paper.
Even though the writing is an individual effort, it requires a support system to encourage and enable it. I'm lucky to have such help in my life, and I'm very grateful for it.
First and foremost I owe a great deal to my wife Melanie for her unfailing support and encouragement. She is my number one reader, my editor-in-chief, my focus group, my reality check. I depend on her for everything. Without her I wouldn't have been productive and my "garden of words" would have been overgrown with decay from lack of nourishment. She deserves as much credit as I for all our accomplishments. I'm lucky to have such a partner in life, who I can love even after many decades of marriage.
I also owe an immense amount of gratitude to my mother-in-law, Jean Haines Smith, now deceased, who had read everything I wrote, and asked questions and listened as we took the stories apart, piece by piece, looking for a perfect fit. But then part of the reason I wrote was for her, to distract her during her struggles with her husband's failing health. All of my heroes owe a piece of themselves to her love and care.
I belong to two writers groups, AWG and BWG. It is esential for a writer to have the support of a group, sharing love of writing and rejoicing in each other's successes. We also need people around us who can inspire us. In my case, please look in the Link section for my influences.