I was born in New York City during Millard Fillmore's administration. At least, I feel like that sometimes.
My Dad was a decorated ace in the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, having received the Distinguished Flying Cross. I think that's where I got my love of aviation from. My Mom was a saint. Period.
I soloed on Halloween, 1968, from the old Burnside-Ott Aviation Training Center at Opa-Locka Airport in Florida, graduating from North Miami Senior High that same year. I remember it was a beautiful little Cessna 150. Okay- it wasn't a Lear Jet. We can't have everything. Blue sky is blue sky.
I graduated from Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, in 1974, having received a Bachelor's degree in writing and a Master's in history. Flagstaff is the home of Lowell Observatory, where Percival Lowell did so much to further our understanding of Mars at the turn of the last century, and where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. It's also the home of the U.S. Geological Survey, who were the 1st to process the pictures of Mars, sent from the old Mariner missions in the 60's.
I did awful in High School because I hated it. I did great in college because I loved it. No brainer. Now I know why Northern Arizona is called God's country. Visit it sometime! I've climbed down to the bottom of the magnificent Grand Canyon (and yes, out again - obviously) and still feel the aches and pains some 40 years later.
I started writing seriously around 1978. Prior to that I suppose I wasn't serious - shopping lists, addressing letters, hastily scribbled recipes, threatening notes to other car owners to get out of my parking space - things like that. Since then, I've written THE HEALER, plus 7 novels of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and numerous short stories.
I've always been attracted to the weird and unexplainable. I suppose it all began when I first looked into a mirror. I'm a great believer in UFO's, and detest the conspiracy of silence concerning them. I believe the future of space commercialization lies in private enterprise. As such, I also believe that Mars should be our top priority. And what will we find when we get there? Remnants of an ancient civilization. And - of course - the infamous Face on Mars.
I did my Master's thesis on THE LOST CONTINENT OF ATLANTIS. I was going to write on THE SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF SANTA CLAUS, but I was afraid of getting a lump of coal in my stocking that Christmas.