DON'T ACCEPT REALITY; HACK IT!
As a long-time software engineer, I've always enjoyed writing code but was driven to compose other forms of alternate reality. About three decades ago (wow, I'm old), I got my first big break as an aspiring speculative fiction writer when my short story "The Last Indian War" won the L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award in the 1991 Writers of the Future contest. I continued submitting short stories to various magazines and anthologies, enjoying the process and learning a lot but "staying small" in terms of projects. Then, in 2013, my first novel -- Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God -- was published by Double Dragon Publishing. To my surprise, it won EPIC's eBook Award for Science Fiction in 2014. I followed that first novel with a sequel -- Aquarius Rising: Blood Tide -- which won the Readers Favorite Gold Medal for Science Fiction in 2016. The final novel in the Aquarius Rising trilogy, The Price of Eden, was published a year later to conclude the series. Since that novel's release, I've mostly reverted to my roots, writing a series of short stories that have been published in various anthologies.
I really enjoy writing (and reading) fiction that covers the entire spectrum of speculative fiction, from hard SF to softer, sociological science fiction, fantasy, and even the occasional horror tale. Now that Double Dragon has closed its digital doors, I'm working to self-publish a collection of short fiction (Mindshards) as well as a consolidated volume of the Aquarius Rising Trilogy, with additional content included. What's really fun about this "refactored trilogy" effort: my sons are contributing cover art and illustrations. What a blast!
To pay the bills, I now work in cybersecurity, spending my days battling the malign forces of darkness that haunt the InterWebs. On my own time, I continue to hack my own imagination, fighting to root out the twisted tales that worm their way into the deepest recesses of my brain. My wonderful wife and three sons help me by providing (brutally) honest feedback about what works...and what amounts to an epic fail. Even the dog gets his two cents in from time to time. (It's amazing how snarky a bark can sound to a sensitive writer's ear!)