Q: What did you do before?
A: Following graduation from West Point, I spent almost 20 years as an Army officer as a combat arms officer (armor and infantry). I’ve been assigned at almost every level from company to theater army and been assigned to Germany (before and after the Wall), all over the US and in Latin America. Some of my stories (“Home”, “Some things never change”), as well as one of my poems (“Grunt”), reflect these experiences.
Q: What do you write?
A: I guess some of it can be classified as literary fiction, I am gravitating to more speculative fiction. I like the way that it lets me transcend reality. A criticism of my Politics and Literature course is that it leans heavily on science fiction. I tell students is because it gives you the ability to conduct thought experiments.
As an example, both Brave New World and 1984 are about authoritarian governments. Why does one seem like a utopia and the other dystopia? Why would you ever rebel against the government in Brave New World? (Answer in 1000 to 1500 words using examples from the books) (The last was the question for the class)
Q: You mentioned you teach. What do you teach?
A: As a non tenured lecturer, the answer is ‘What have you got?’ But the reality is that I have taught American political institutions, almost every aspect of international relations, and numerous courses in security studies (as well as a slew of others).
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: You could just look through my Goodreads list, but let me see if I can break it down.
Current Writers. I have to admit I am a bit of a Carrie Vaughn (https://carriev.wordpress.com/) fanboy. I will read just about everything she has written.
Others would have to include Neil Gaiman, Ha Jin, and Oliver PöTzsch (Hangman’s Daughter and Black Musketeers series).
My guilty pleasures are Kristin Painter’s Nocturne Falls Universe and Charlaine Harris’ mysteries.
Classic Writers. The standard for sci-fi geeks of my age – Bradbury, Heinlein, and Asimov.
Q: What do you do when you are not teaching and writing?
A: I have a well equipped woodworking shop where I spend time ‘creating sawdust’ having built a lot of my family’s furniture. I am also fortunate to live in the foothills of Colorado, so biking and hiking are part of the agenda as well.