A fresh pot of coffee, a blank pad, a couple of sharp pencils, and whatever music the Muse requires to give up her secrets. I can’t imagine a better way to start the day. My wife, though, has a better imagination than I do, so I start most days at the paying gig, working in McKinney, TX as an agent for an employee benefits company. I enjoy my work, and especially the people I work with (it’s been more than fifteen years now, and I’m still having fun), but I know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve been a voracious reader since I was small enough to sit on my mother’s lap and listen to her read “The Five Little Firemen” and “Scuppers the Sailor Dog”, but I didn’t have any desire to write until I was in my thirties. That’s when a story decided to fight its way out of my brain. Those first words must have broken the dam, because after that, I couldn’t write fast enough. As soon as one short story was done, another started screaming to be let out. Twelve years after it was written, that first story, titled “Ozymandias”, brought me the “Our Stories” literary journal’s 2010 Emerging Writer Award. Other stories have appeared in “The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature”, “Muscadine Lines”, and “Dew on the Kudzu”. In 2002, my first novel, A Simple Man, was published. An updated version, entitled Cropper, is available on Amazon.com. Most of my work has been stories about the Deep South and those characters and characteristics that make it unique. My current work in progress, a novel titled Mammon, is in the Deep South, as well, but I’ve ventured into horror with this project. I wish I had made the jump sooner; it turns out running amok and wreaking havoc is lots of fun.