I write, and I arbor. Yeah, that’s not a real verb. But there’s no word for “to perform tree-related work,” so please, can I have this one?
My short fiction has appeared in Nature and VICE’s Terraform, among other excellent publications. New to my work? If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced thriller, try “Möbius,” a near-future medical mystery that won the Writers of the Future Award. Prefer something quieter, and with more layered depth? Try “Hanging Trees,” which was honored with a Pushcart nomination and inclusion in The Best of Deep Magic. Links to these and other stories can be found on the “Published Works” page.
If you prefer novel-length fiction, stay tuned. Though I’ve written several novels over the years, none were good enough to submit … until now. Hangman, Book I in my debut series, is complete and without a doubt the best thing I’ve written. And that’s only if I don’t count Books II-IV, because they’re still growing up. Each installment is better than the last, and the saga as a whole is shaping up to be the story I always wanted to read. I’m deeply excited about this series, and cannot wait to share it with you. To stay apprised of Hangman and other stories, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll let you know when something new is available. Three new shorts are on the way!
Arboring (yeah, now we’re turning a fake verb into a fake gerund!)
My love of stories is rivalled only by my passion for trees, an interest I satisfied first as a forestry technician and firefighter for the US Forest Service, then as a certified arborist, tree climbing specialist, and board member at the University of Nevada Arboretum. Over the years, my general interest in trees has focused into a particular enthusiasm for those which bear edible fruits. In large part because of this, I recently moved to Hilo, Hawaii—fruit paradise—and now work at a budding rare fruit orchard and probable future arboretum where I propagate, plant, and care for a staggering diversity of plants. The founder, whose obsession with fruit far outstrips even mine, is still deciding what form this magical place will take, but I’m rooting for an “arbor-eat-’em.” In other words, a living museum the public can visit to appreciate and connect with trees in the most intimate way: by eating their delicious gifts. How many museums allow people to eat from the collection? View from the office:
I love birds, and was once proud ape-friend to a trio of wild crows who’d play catch with me, swooping from the sky with astonishing aerial acrobatics to snatch peanuts from the air (video). Their names are Huginn, Muninn, and Crow-Magnon, and I miss them dearly.
Before settling on writing and arboring, I worked as a firefighter on two federal hotshot crews. Me as a dumb rookie:
Before fire I lived in China, where I attended school and worked as an interpreter/guide. Before that I had poorly formed aspirations of a legal career. It only took one law course to know that wasn’t for me.
College did, however, nudge me toward writing. I’ve always enjoyed stories, and been a voracious reader since those magical days when my mom would read me to bed, but I never actually tried writing stories until pretty late, during downtime on a fire that was nuking off, just turning forests to ash. Those apocalyptic images burned themselves into my mind, and I ended up writing a novel about a future in which Earth burns and people rebuild out of that clean black slate. It was awful. But it was good practice for the next attempt, which was slightly less appalling, and then a foray into short fiction, which gave me the skills I needed to write Hangman. And finally, a novel I’m eager to share! Until that day …
“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies … God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”