Cyclone Road Biography
I write fiction and nonfiction and teach literature and writing at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where I live. My stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Missouri Review, Yemassee, Poets & Writers, Oxford Magazine, Iron Horse Review, Southwestern American Literature, RE:AL, and Indiana Review. I'm currently completing revisions on my first novel, Remedy Wheel. I've written about weather and stormchasing for Isotope, Weatherwise, The Weather Channel website, India Today, and other national and international magazines. I'm also a copy editor for the Electronic Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology.
As for the life story, my mother worked for the Veterans
Administration and, since my father was retired from the Army, we followed
Mom's new assignments around the country, from Binghamton, New York, where I
was born in 1969, to Austin and then Temple, Texas, then Tomah, Wisconsin,
and finally, Bonham, Texas. My parents were
readers. Though he dropped out of high school to support his immigrant
parents, then served in World War II, my father filled our house with
newspapers and news magazines, which I devoured as a means to keep up with
my parents lively dinner conversations about economics and politics, not
uncommon topics at middle class tables before the advent of reality
television. As a boy I dreamed of being the Moscow correspondent for
Newsweek. This idea stuck with me so long that I majored in
Journalism my first year at Baylor University and planned to take Russian
In 1989, I
transferred from Baylor University to the UNT in Denton, where my pals were
having a far better time than I was. My friends had a rock band
playing regularly in clubs around Dallas, and I quit school in 1993
to join the fun. We formed a
sort of musical commune centered around shared financial resources,
hanging out at practice, and playing World Series 1000 on Nintendo 64. Before it was over, I was
representing three bands, writing for
The Harder Beat, and booking acts for a local
metal club called The Basement. I went broke anyway.
My musician friends moved to Austin, as Texas players inevitably do, and not long afterwards I started chasing storms. My friend Clete Estes and I encountered a powerful "derecho" in southern Oklahoma in August of 1996 and I was hooked. I anxiously awaited the following chase season, reading everything I could find, from intro meteorology texts to chase accounts in the venerable Stormtrack Magazine. Little did I know that more than one thousand days would pass until I'd see my first tornado. In November of 1996, I accepted a job in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and left the grand stage of Tornado Alley for three years.
In May 1999, I returned to
Denton, Texas to start an MA in writing, working under
I chased a lot after '99,
really my formative years as an amateur storm observer since I was free to
indulge myself with the cooperative university schedule. I met a great group of like-minded friends
including Eric Nguyen, Scott Blair, Jeff
Lawson, Robert Hall, Glenn Dixon, Steve Miller, Blair Kooistra, Brian Fant, and Dave Fick.
In 2003 I left the plains again to pursue an MFA at Indiana University in
Bloomington, which I finished in 2005. I returned to Denton because
there was a job for me, as an Adjunct at first and now as a Lecturer.
I'll begin shopping Remedy Wheel to literary agents in 2009.
Spring is a great time of year for me. It's always right around the corner.