“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” —Tony Stark, describing himself in The Avengers
Okay, how about "novelist, thousandaire, husband, father” instead? And a Will Ferrell lookalike too... or so I’m told. (Truth is, I don't see it. Do you?)
I've always loved imaginative writing, but I'm probably best known for work I've done within the world of facts. In my not-so-secret identity of mild-mannered science journalist, I reported more than sixty Time magazine cover stories over (gasp) two decades.
Photos by Dianne Avery Photography
Among the unexpected benefits: experiences as surreal as my fiction. They include lugging a gray whale to sea (the U.S. Coast Guard may have helped a bit), chasing O.J. Simpson down the freeway, lounging in the captain’s chair of the starship Enterprise, and dodging champagne corks in a World Series clubhouse. Wearing a necktie (a rare event) led to Q & As with two U.S. presidents, a visit to the top of NASA's Apollo & space shuttle launch towers, and the chance to track satellites from deep inside Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain.
Now that I've returned to creating my own worlds I watch a lot of baseball, read a lot of books, eat a lot of tacos, and point my telescope at the heavens whenever I can escape city lights. Social media? Not my thing. Halloween haunts and holiday lights? Definitely my thing.
The chance to create my own stories is a doorway I've worked to open for years, and I truly thank you for encouraging and supporting this dream.
Reaching back through time a bit... I have a UCLA English degree and live in Los Angeles with my wife and son. Born in Santa Monica, Calif., I spent early childhood in the nearby San Fernando Valley. Later, my family moved to a rural Sierra Nevada town where I learned to appreciate dirt roads, starry skies, and polyhedral dice. A budding fantasy portfolio convinced me to parlay my writing skills into gas money, so at age sixteen I began freelancing newspaper features. I won Time’s national student essay contest a year later and became one of the magazine’s contributors during college, launching a twenty-three-year run... and my career as a writer.