How I came to love books and became a writer is somewhat of a mystery to me. When I was young, I do not recall having any favorite books. I read very little. Not even comic books. My older brother, unlike me, devoured books, including the fifteen-book series of the Wizard of Oz and countless comics. Instead, I was drawn to illustrations and cartoons and daydreaming. At school, I resorted to using Cliff Notes for completing my book reports. It was not until I discovered Dickens and Poe that words began to have an appeal for me, sparking my imagination, and making me realize – “Like atoms begetting atoms that beget molecules, when uniquely linked, words form a DNA of indelible visions.” Also listening to the mesmerizing lyrics of musicians such as Dylan and The Doors had increased my interest in using words as art. It was not until college that I began to read voraciously and dabble in creative writing – strictly poetry, never intending to write a novel. Then, a few years later, having read multiple authors – Shakespeare, Faulkner, Joyce, Hemingway, Hess, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Kafka, etc. – I was introduced to the works of Woolf, Vonnegut and Fowles whose writing became a major source of inspiration for me. And, twenty-five years later, having written three discardable novels, I finally honed my skill as a writer and “found my voice,” so to speak, whereby producing three novels and a collection of what I’ve coined “storypoems.” Writing has been an arduous journey, yet a psychologically rewarding one. The fact that I forged a career in the visual arts (graphic design) did not come as a surprise to me, but deciding to become a writer of poetry and novels did, and still does, given my early disinterest in books.

Illustrations: Poe by Evgeny Parfenov. Dickens by Bob Doucette. Dylan by Paula Exanderart. Morrison by Tom Richmond. Woolf by Pedro Molina. Vonnegut by Kate Gavino.