I was born in the United States, the great state of Colorado. Due to my father’s work, I lived most of my teen years in Kansas and Arizona. While going to school, I loved playing sports—contact sports, specifically. It was through sports that I became an avid reader outside the required scholastic stuff. I fell in love with reading sports digests, especially how professional athletes trained, practiced and lived. Then late one night, in my senior year in high school, I watch the movie Ben-Hur. The action was great but what I did not expect was the effect it had on my psyche regarding history, religions, laws, philosophy, culture and even poetry. I quickly developed a voracious interest in learning more outside the school curriculum. It was as if in a few short months I had transformed from a meathead sports’ enthusiast to a Renaissance man. My family would laugh when they would see me watching sports on the television while reading Plato, John Donne or penning a poem during the commercials. I eventually became a reader of most any genre, but my true loves remained history, religions, law, philosophy, poetry and—yes—comic books (love those superheroes and super villains). When I was in college, I spent most of my time at the gym or the library where I continued to sneak in lots of outside reading. Some of my favorite reading included Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Another favorite was Aristotle’s The Nichomachean Ethics. Other likes, John Donne’s Holy Sonnets and No Man Is an Island, and lots of other writers, such as Harper Lee, Frank Herbert, George Orwell, J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and so on.
I enjoyed the academic research and writing in undergrad and law school, and though I spent many years voraciously reading and penning sonnet after sonnet, I never believed I would write a novel. However, it was during my time studying abroad and traveling Spain, Portugal, Africa and China that I began to spin ideas for various novels.
In the year 2000, I moved to Florida and shortly thereafter began to practice law. My novels took a back seat for a long while. For years I was swamped with work. Eventually economic disaster struck the U.S. and especially hit Florida hard beginning in 2007. I found myself doing my part to help as much as I could, working unending hours of pro-bono (free legal work) employment to help many of the untold thousands of Floridians who lost everything during the brutal part of the recession of 2007-2009. While these times for Floridians were terrible at best, I found the pro-bono work of helping a multitude of teary-eyed clients with bankruptcy, foreclosure protection and short-sales, brought back a passion in me that had been lost in billable hours. It was a passion to live from my heart and not for my wallet. Though I still practice law, I no longer live in my office. In 2010, I finished my first book. By 2014, I had finished five additional novels. I decided in 2015 that I would publish, and I did. Shadows Be’er Sheva to Negev, is part one in a series.
It is hectic—practicing law, penning books, and giving time to nonprofit organizations. My faith and my loved ones help keep me grounded as I continue doing what I love to do.
The ideas that worked together to form my Shadow Series arrived from a mix of things: my passion for knowledge of first-century history in Judea, my love for studying religion, military history, and interest in past political policies. There was also my base interest for movies that deal with the underdog fighting their way from the very bottom to the top by all means necessary. Then there was my intrigue in the clash and mix of cultures that was born out of living on the reservation in Arizona. The different foods I ate, the different languages I listened to and religions I learned of were an incredible experience for me—a white American child living on the sand dunes in Arizona. In the years to come, I developed an interest in history, specifically that of Judea near the beginning of the first century. Judea, like Arizona, is for the most part an extreme arid wasteland that is difficult to cultivate and known for brutal heat for most of the year. First-century Judea had been conquered by the Greeks who were then conquered by Rome. The land now known as Arizona had been conquered by Spain, who were then conquered by the Mexicans during the revolution in Mexico. Shortly thereafter, Mexico was conquered by the Americans, resulting in Mexico ceding ownership of Arizona to the Americans and so becoming one of the many burgeoning states in the United States of Northern America. These few parallels sank deep into my mind, causing me to search for more comparisons. Rome’s time in Judea was continually tumultuous as was the United States’ Wild West during the 1840s until the 1930s. Then there is, of course, a central figure—Jesus Christ. It’s a name that appears in history in the first century AD…a name that goes on to greatly influence all of the Western Hemisphere including the Americas.
With a burning passion to actually see the Holy Land, I decided to take a trip to Jerusalem. My journey did not end there. I continued to journey to the many surrounding cities and villages, eventually journeying into Lebanon, Jordan and even Syria (well before the terrible situation that country faces now). Although I had my concerns as an American traveling in these territories, I found the people friendly. I now know how lucky I was to visit the site of certain Roman ruins in Syria that were recently just destroyed during the military conflict there. I am especially happy to have visited the ruins in Palmyra, which inspired me to add a fictitious story to book II of my Shadow Series. I am very sad that subsequent generations of travelers will not get to place an eye on the Roman ruins and other incredible historic areas in Syria.
Another interesting place I happened upon in Israel was Mount Tabor, a place where many Christians believe the transfiguration of Jesus took place. This mountain, of about 1,900 ft., strangely rises up as the only mountain in the middle of a vast stretch of flat land. I am in the camp of believers that doubt Tabor to be the site of the transfiguration (I believe it occurred on Mt. Nebo). The main reason for my doubts is that a Roman fortress sat atop of Tabor during the days of Christ’s ministry, and also for other reasons I will not go into here. In any event, a beautiful Catholic church now sits atop of Mt. Tabor—what a sight.
Taking into account Mt. Tabor was home to a Roman fortress first planted there in B.C. 219 by the Greek Empire and thereafter commandeered by the Romans when they took control of Judea, I began to envision a great fictitious battle I created in my mind that I would later use in book III of my Shadow Series. As I huffed and puffed my way up the mountainside, and with my heart pounding away, I thought of all the great battles that had occurred upon it that I was just learning of by the skinny little tour guide who glided up the mountainside effortlessly, while telling of Tabor’s history.
There is much more I can share and I will. As I share more of my personal travels, it is my hope that my readers enjoy my Shadow Series.