of my life I have had a deep interest in paleontology and entomology. In
school, while we were reading Shakespeare, I was thinking about bugs. And
during History class, I wondered what new discovery was being uncovered in
fossil beds around the world. The only reason I passed 9th
History in the 9th
Grade was due to my artistic talent at the time.
The teacher asked me to draw Hannibal crossing the Alps with his elephants.
knew I wanted to write as far back as age ten, when I wrote a comic book story.
Of course, it was terrible, but the fire was there. Then about age 25, while
stationed in France, I started creating plots and characters, and putting them
on paper. Naturally, the stories involved animals. One plot eventually became
the Jur series several years later. I was finally living my dream, and creating
stories to be read.
of my favorite comic strips is Luann, and while reading the strip one day, I
began thinking, why does’t that evil little Elvis guy hire a scientist to build
a time machine, and accidentally send Luann and her girlfriends, Delta and
Bernice back in time. Then someone could go after them, naturally. Well, I
figured that would never happen, but I liked the idea. And that meant I started
thinking about writing it myself, only not with Luann and her friends, but with
girls in their mold.
“Three Go Back” was conceived. I set my tale in the future, where the common
transportation system was teleport machines. My problem was coming up with the
time machine angle for the story. Okay, so what if my characters were
teleporting at the same time a magnetic solar flare struck the planet, burning
out the teleport circuits, and turning it into a time machine? Bang. That became my gimmick.
using those concepts, my story almost wrote itself. My big problem was finding
a publisher. You see, I used scientific names for the animals they encounter in
their journey back through time, and publishers told me they would never find
an editor who knew if the names were real, or misspelled, and were in the
correct time period. They kindly but firmly rejected the story. I sent a
proposal to Barbara Custer at Night To Dawn, who knew my background in
prehistoric animal life, and my extensive study on the subject, and she took a
chance. Actually, anyone with a computer can type the names I use and do a Google
search, and it will show the data on any creature. But I understood the publishers’
decision to reject the book because of the editing difficulties. It can add a
lot of work to an editor’s already hectic job. And you do come upon variation
of names, which can confuse you.
live in the Permian Basin of Texas, which is an area rich in Permian fossils.
The Permian Period in our prehistory was over 250 million years ago, or roughly
60 million years before the dinosaurs, so this area is famous for reptiles and
amphibians. There is an important dig in our area, the Craddock Redbeds, and
Dr. Bakkar, a famous paleontologist brings a team up from the Houston Museum of
Natural Sciences every year. Our town, Seymour even has a reptile/amphibian
named after it – the Seymouria. So my childhood was naturally drawn towards the
study, and that’s why I write so much about prehistoric life. They do say to
write what you know and love.
“Three Go Back”, and other novels set in prehistoric times, I also write action
and adventure novels in the tradition of the pulp magazines of the 1930s and
‘40s, a period I also love. My interest varies from western to detective and
space ships. Whether in the far-flung galactic worlds of the future, or the
eons in our past, to the modern day mystery, I love the written word, and enjoy
telling a story. I hope you will read my stories, and I’m sure you will see
that love I project into my characters.
I was born in 1940, going through
elementary schools in Seymour and Wichita Falls, Texas. My dad was a cowboy and
cook, and often worked at each profession, which required a lot of moves. He
wanted me to follow in his footsteps, but I had more of a studious nature, and
didn’t want to spend my life on farms and ranches. I was different from most
kids my age, I didn’t want to be a cowboy, and never liked riding horses. My
family lived something of an itinerant’s lifestyle, and we never stayed in one
place long enough for me to develop friendships. In high school I was working
on the ranch my dad was foreman of while other high school students my age were
When I turned 18, I joined the Army
as an MP, and was off to see the world, never regretting my decision to leave
the life my family had. I had some pretty good assignments, such as a
three-year tour in France, but then there was a one-year period patrolling the
DMZ between North and South Korea under fire, and 13 months in Vietnam. But I
did enjoy my twenty years as a military cop, and took some college courses in
After retirement, my wife, Ginger
and I started FADING SHADOWS, a small press imprint, publishing a hobby
magazine, ECHOES, for the next twenty years, as well as half a dozen genre
fiction titles, which re-fired my interest in writing.
Today I leave the publishing for
others, and continue my love of writing. It has been a good life, and I in no
way degrade those men and women on ranches and farms. It just wasn’t a life for