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bio

photo by James Allison (jamesallisondesign.com)Author, musician, media professional — these are the kinds of creative pursuits that lead us to erect these online temples to our own vanity (and hopefully why you’re visiting), but here’s a little background if you like.

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I was born pigeon-toed in Evansville, Indiana in 1973, corrected thanks to baby shoes joined by a metal brace. Life in an airline family saw me growing up in Virginia Beach and eventually the Kansas City area, where I still reside. They labeled me “gifted” as I was giving half-hour multimedia presentations at age 10 and sweeping spelling bees. I thought I’d develop into a pro baseball player, maybe a shrink. At 13, I picked up the electric guitar. Without any lessons and despite limited music-reading ability (even to this day), I was blessed with good ears and cooperative-enough fingers to win my school’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Award.

While earning a degree in Broadcasting from Northwest Missouri State, I began my career by producing radio commercials and jocking shows from alt-rock to classical, jazz, and news at an NPR affiliate. I would go on to build and continuously refine a home project studio for music and audio production while performing in many live bands over the years, from modern rock to a top regional ’80s tribute group to an acoustic duo. In 2015 I released Finding the Light, an album of all-original music I wrote, performed, recorded, and mixed. >MUSIC

Six years spent at a small agency exposed me to the full range of video production, from event videos to TV commercials, multi-cam live events to training. I had to master each phase of production myself, often single-handedly creating videos end-to-end. After many projects proofing ad copy and preflighting print jobs, I took on those tasks myself, splitting time between video work, copy writing, and graphic design. This diversity of skills prepared me for my current position at a Fortune 100 company, where I direct, shoot, and edit videos for employee and customer education. My short film Featurette screened at several festivals and served as my calling card for years. >VISUALS

A renewed interest in reading fiction around the turn of the century also gave me the writing bug. I’d been comfortable writing screenplays, ad copy, and song lyrics, but now found the power of visceral long-form prose irresistible. So began a tedious four years crafting and publishing my first novel, Major Inversions. During this time, I immersed myself in online writing communities and workshops, attending lit events and conferences while developing a large peer network of creatives whom I count among my most-treasured friends. In addition to many short stories in various genres, I published my second novel, Flashover, in 2012, following that up with a collection of stories and poetry called Submission Windows, then a self-produced audiobook edition of Major Inversions. >WRITING

Photo by James Allison