Living a double life … and loving it

An inspired moment.
An inspired moment.

Nearly everyone says he has a book in him, and maybe that’s true.

Things change if you have two books (or more) in you. You’re one of those lost souls who hammers out prose late at night on a noisy typewriter, plays the stereo real loud, guzzles espresso and starts looking more like Jack Nicholson every day.

And you already know about those crazy musicians. A different breed. Their minds are always working, hearing mundane everyday sounds and finding something musical in them.

What if you’re both? Forget it. There’s no hope for you.

The writing: Freeing up the constipated Muse

You can't slap a computer.
You can’t slap a computer.

That’s why I write the things I do. B.I.C. Cartel (Butt In Chair) brings to mind my own attempts to be normal, while Damage Control and Desert Vendetta are merely products of my twisted imagination. My most recent release, The Beta Testers, takes this dark and disturbing theme even further.

I’m currently working on a thriller series, State Of Franklin Mysteries. Built around an ex-journalist-turned-taxi-driver and an exotic-dancer-turned-street-minister, they get into trouble while solving crimes in upper East Tennessee. Badger Game is the first of the series, and it’s in second draft.

If there’s anything autobiographical in my catalog, it’s probably in the nonfiction titles. Hard Reboot is totally based on real life with real stories. So are the others.

See, I entertained the idea of writing a novel since childhood, and I finally kicked the “aspiring” act right where it hurts the most by publishing B.I.C. Cartel in 2014. At age 56. Gotta do it sometime.

The music: Free-range harmonica

Getting ready to put the hammer down.
Getting ready to put the hammer down.

Despite repeated attempts to make an honest man out of me, the music has always been there. I’ve played in bands since the mid-1980s, taking the harmonica out of the novelty class and putting it right in the front line where it belongs. My inherent restlessness means I must try different things on my instrument and bend it to my will — creating what I can only call free-range harmonica.

In my pursuit of That Perfect Sound I studied music theory and general musicianship, and much of this shows up in my book Playing Harmonica Like A Real Musician. I’d call it essential reading, if I may be so bold.

The bio: Going nationwide?

2014-12-22 16.51.43Since the mid-1980s I wrote for several newspapers in California, Nevada, Arizona and Indiana. My series on open-meeting laws in Bullhead City earned me an Arizona Associated Press award for in-depth coverage and the ire of a few local politicians.

In between times I worked in casinos in Nevada, drove taxis in Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina, and performed in all those states. In recent years I wrote for at least a dozen Web sites, though not all under my own name (thank God).

I call South Carolina home, but currently live in Riverside, CA where I serve as a family caregiver to an elderly parent. When not caregiving, writing or playing I’m likely to be on some hiking trail somewhere with a camera in my hand and a dog on a leash.


Catch me at some of the social media channels: Facebook (with writing and music pages), Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin and (don’t tell anybody) Pinterest.