Some of what you really wanted to know about me (and a lot that you probably didn't)
I grew up in the Village of Fairport, a small Erie Canal town in Upstate New York. Yes, it really is called a village. Of course it's a lot bigger and more populated than it was back in the seventies.
My fondest memories are of our small hometown celebrations: Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Lift Bridge Days. On special holidays, the Main Street lift bridge’s arched girders would be decorated with patriotic streamers and banners and the air would fill with the smell of peanuts and cotton candy. It was always an extra special thrill to hear the ring of the lift bridge bell announcing the approach of a boat. My friends and I would run like stampeding wildebeest and, if we were quick enough and the lift operator cooperative enough, we would get to ride the bridge up while the boat passed beneath us.
Sadly, they don't let you do that anymore.
After high school, I went into the military, where I trained as a combat medic. I lived for various amounts of time in Texas (El Paso, San Antonio), Germany (Mannheim, Frankfurt), and Washington DC. After my discharge, I worked as a trauma technician in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
I finally settled in California, where I attended college, getting a degree in Biology and Creative Studies at Santa Barbara, then a PhD at Santa Cruz. I went on to do my post-doctoral studies in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Berkeley.
In 1999, my wife and I took an extended honeymoon and traveled 51 thousand miles overland on a refurbished garbage truck through Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We spent six months sleeping in tents on the hard ground, through seering heat and snow and one near-tornado (in Ephesus, Turkey). Our trip had started in Dover, England and ended in Cape Town, SA. We'd visited 15 countries. The idea of returning to California seemed unreal, but return we did.
I spent the next ten years working my way through the ranks at biotechnology companies. My wife and I started a family. And I wrote. And the more I wrote, the more I realized that writing is what I wanted to do; it was a way for me to travel, albeit through the lives of my characters.
I often get asked what my favorite stories are. I love them all, as long as they can transport me far away, in space and time and the preconceptions of my own mind. But the stories I love most are those firmly grounded in the here and now, that deal with real people doing extraordinary things, and extraordinary people doing the unthinkable.
Some of my favorite writers include Michael Chabon, Siobhon Dowd, Truman Capote, Sonya Hartnett, Neal Shusterman and Lief Enger.
For my thoughts on some books I’ve read recently, please check out My Bookshelf.
A quick look at the places I've lived:
Copyright KJHowe 2011. All rights reserved.