Writer, bearskinNowadays, in addition to being a writer, I’m co-publisher and editor at Scorpius Digital Publishing and Æon Speculative Fiction. But how did I attain such heights of fame and fortune? It’s a long, long story…

I was born a frightfully long time ago in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. It was so long ago that there was a World War in progress. No, the second one.

Mine was a strange desert childhood full of spooky settings, memorable characters, and the odd atomic bomb (view the film Desert Rose for an idea of what it was like. One of my old grade schools makes a guest appearance). There were also some remarkably ordinary things, too, such as building a snowman (it actually snowed one day of my entire childhood), climbing trees, and taking my First Communion at St. Bridget’s church. And yes, I did think it was named for me, but I’m sure before my Communion day at age seven I had figured it out.

I attended 24 grade schools and 6 or 7 high schools, mostly in Nevada and California. We moved a lot. At some point in my adult life I realized that I had never rearranged my furniture. I’m convinced this was because we never remained in one place long enough for me to see my mother doing it.

As soon as I learned to read and write people started telling me I should be a writer. I told them not to tell me what I should be, but long about 1974 I gave in to shut them up. I sold a story and a poem the following year for a total of about $170, which figure exceeded my writing income of many subsequent years. I had been reading science fiction and fantasy since I was seven, but I was certain that whatever it took to write the stuff, I didn’t have it. Eventually I talked myself into giving it a try, and was able to make my first science fiction sale (to Writers of the Future, Volume II) in 1985.

Since that time I’ve sold some fiction, started a publishing company, and launched a magazine, the last two with the able partnership and shared vision of my daughter, Marti McKenna. Not every mother is lucky enough to be able to raise a daughter who’s nearly as insane as her progenitrix and in nearly the same ways, and I am truly grateful to a beneficent universe. Without Mo, I wouldn’t be a stone-broke publishing mogul today, and how much fun could that be?

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