I’ve thought about where I want to go with this blog and I’m still arranging things. However, I enjoyed the idea of delving into the characters in my stories because I think doing that might give a little insight to my thinking. It probably will also give me a chance to share some personal experiences.
Before I go into the individual characters, I thought I’d give a history of how the two books, Alpha and Beta came about. I also want to give a history of how my short stories came to be included in the Iowa Original Writers Anthology, Death of the Demon Machine, The Light Won’t Go Out, and Chills Down Your Spine anthologies Except for the last anthology, each of the others have short stories featuring Mallory Petersen, the protagonist in both Alpha and Beta. Also, upcoming books
I’d like to start at the beginning, appropriately, with Alpha. Actually, this story begins long before I started writing it in the mid 90s. It goes back to before I was in martial arts. It starts with my love of reading mysteries. Hardy Boys, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, etc. I have been an avid reader since I was a child. I loved going to the bookstore and seeing if anything new from favorite authors or series was on the shelves. Somewhere along the line, I thought I could write some of these stories. I could create a character, provide some clues, and write a short story mystery.
The name of the character was Sam P. Peterson. I’ve always liked the name Sam and the name seemed to flow. He was a cop in the East Moline Police Department and worked out of the Blue Building. The actual building is along 23rd Avenue, but it’s gray and it’s not the East Moline PD, but creative licensing, right?
I wrote off and on for a while, a few short stories, even a poem or two (I know, so don’t gasp. I don’t write poetry and I’ll keep saying it). I started what I planned to be a series of fantasy or paranormal stories using my high school classmates. I completed the first and had started on the second and then it petered out.
I wrote comic book stories but a friend of mine never was able to complete the illustrations. I thought about putting those comics stories into book form, but it never came about.
When I moved to Oskaloosa, in 1990, I worked as a radio salesman for a couple years but didn’t like the job. I moved onto motel work, graphic design, and back to motel work.
One summer in 1991, I was walking on one side of the square and I saw a sign advertising two weeks free martial arts classes. I’d been a bit interested in martial arts, so I checked it out. Two weeks later, after the free period was over, I joined. I earned my next belt, Orange, in September of that year. I went on to earn my black belt, help open a club in New Sharon and later Grinnell and since 2003 have owned the Oskaloosa club.
I think it was about 1995 when the writing bug hit me hard. The story idea I conceived is the next chapter and can be read next week.