You want to know about me? Awkward. Meaning that I’m awkward. It’s normal to want to get to know someone. I’ve already screwed this up, haven’t I?
Short Bio: I first decided to be a writer around eight years old. Back then I wrote about time machines, werewolves, and space travel. Now I write about time machines, werewolves, and space travel but with more nuance.
My writing has placed in the top 15% of the Nicholl competition (twice) and the semifinals of the Page International Screenplay competition, the Bluecat competition, and the Screencrafting Fellowship (twice). My first feature film, Granted, was independently produced and played at film festivals worldwide. Currently residing outside of Philadelphia (after stops in Buffalo, NY, Washington, DC, and rural NJ), I work as a proposal writer for a federal government IT contractor. In my spare time I play dek hockey and dote on my kittens and wife (not necessarily, but usually, in that order). I overuse parentheticals.
Long Bio: When I applied to college–when I applied to anything, really–I liked to recount the first story I ever wrote. I won’t do that here, partially because I can’t remember pertinent details anymore and partially because the writings of a child who hasn’t hit double-digits in age aren’t that interesting. The point is: I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time.
I consider myself lucky that I’ve always had that clarity of purpose. What I didn’t realize until much later is that actually fulfilling that purpose is a long, hard, winding path with moats, unknown bloodthirsty creatures, and a sense of loneliness that at times can only be described as ‘existential.’
My path as a writer started with that story; veered off into filmmaking; had side-quests in sports journalism, science writing, and proposal writing; contended with jobs ranging from fast food to machining, after-school tutor to science museum usher, landscaper to telemarketer; and has settled somewhere in the middle of those things (for now). I’ve had lots of little successes in that time. I’ve also had just a ton of major failures. Success nor failure has changed my trajectory, so I guess I’m in this for the long haul.
In lieu of continuing to ramble, here are some bullet points to contextualize who I am:
- I was born and lived the first 24 years of my life in Buffalo, NY. I am happy to remind you of this and talk about my hometown at any hint of opportunity. You brought up the weather? Allow me to explain the nuances of lake effect snow. Upset your favorite sports team lost? Try being a Sabres fan. We’re ordering pizza? Here is a 100-page treatise on why Buffalo actually has the best pizza in the country. You get it.
- Note: This is a biological imperative of anyone from Buffalo. Should you run into a Buffalonian do not say anything disparaging about the city, its weather, its sports teams, its architecture, or its food.
- As mentioned in the prior bullet (re: Sabres) I’m a huge hockey fan. And a long-suffering Sabres fan. I’ve successfully indoctrinated my wife into this painful lifestyle.
- I also play dek (i.e., street / floor) hockey. I’m a goaltender. Of all the things in my life, this is what I’m most confident in. Doesn’t mean I’m any good, just that I have confidence in my ability to throw myself in front of small objects moving at speeds of up to 90mph.
- My comfort food is pho. Despite that, I’m a picky eater. Not that pho is particularly exotic. It’s one of the only things I crave consistently and it has to be the first thing I eat after returning from travel, no matter how long the trip.
- The most influential author in my life is Ray Bradbury. Haruki Murakami and Stephen King are the authors I get strange urges to read. Like, sometimes I’ll be sitting there and suddenly want to pick up a book by them, apropos of nothing. I don’t tend to read a lot of series, but if I had to choose one as a favorite it’d be The Expanse by James S.A. Corey.
- Jurassic Park convinced me of two things: 1) Dinosaurs are awesome (I still believe this to be true) and 2) I wanted to make movies (this has become less true with time). Other favorite movies, in something of a chronological order, include Laugh, Clown, Laugh (Lon Chaney is the greatest actor to ever live–fight me); Casablanca; The Set-up; 2001: A Space Odyssey; The Conversation; Tarsem’s The Fall; and Drive. At least, that’s the list I’ll go with right now. It’s in constant flux.
That’s everything interesting about me. Sorry.