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About the Perpetrator

I haven't always been a writer. I don't know whether that's lucky for me, or not. I worked my way through university as an auto mechanic, got a degree in History, took a shot at grad school, and then floated around for a while. That was the '70s.

In the early '80s I came to my senses, in a manner of speaking, as did many other Austin hippies. I took some computer science courses, which resulted in a twenty-plus year career in technology.

Back then a high-tech company would hire anyone who could spell F-O-R-T-R-A-N. I like to regale pre-greybeards with stories about 029 machines, card decks, octal-based CDC mainframes, and command-line interfaces. Awk! If you recognize any of those terms, you and I need to sit down with a bottle of good bourbon. But don't think I'm in love with technology. I do not love technology any more than I love a good Snap-on ratchet. They are a tool, nothing more. Come to think of it, the ratchet is more honest.

A little more about me. Earlier in my life I played a pretty mean clarinet and sang in a college male chorus. I love baseball, played a bunch of adult softball, and raced sports cars and motorcycles briefly and badly. I've been vilified as a lacrosse referee and umpire (Trust me, punching a strikeout is an awesome feeling!). And I've got 175 sport parachute jumps. Stepping off the edge is sort of a guiding principle in my life.

The next edge I encountered was becoming a father, which put an end to the skydiving. Now my kids are grown, and more or less support themselves. My granddaughter was born last February, and she loves to grab my finger and drag me someplace where we can look at interesting bugs and other marvelous things. A whole new adventure has begun!

This fall I’m travelling to France and England to research locations for my next book. I love England and Wales, but frankly, no trip to France is ever long enough.


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