They tell me I was born at a very young age in Brooklyn, N.Y., first-born son of a Coney Island fireman and a Boston telephone switchboard operator. Parochial grammar and high schools, I turned down a chance to go to Notre Dame in favor of Loyola, because my father announced he was retiring and moving us out to L.A.
But because I graduated h.s. on Feb. 1, and my sister had to finish her freshman h.s. in June, I worked on Wall Street for five months, we settled in Canoga Park out in the San Fernando Valley, and I flunked the Loyola entrance exam by one point. In five months I had forgotten one point's worth of Math!
I then entered pre-med programs in a few junior colleges, couldn't get a higher grade than C in chemistry, so I switched to engineering. Took courses at UCLA, but then switched to their Writers Program.
Got a job at North American's Rocketdyne division in the Santa Susanna Mountains, and ended up a junior engineer working on the Titan and Atlas missile test stands Alpha, Bravo and Cocoa. The booster engine on the Atlas was banging into the sustainer engine, spilling out LOX and blowing up the stand. So my claim to fame ("Saving the nation's space program," is how I usually put it) was re-designing the gimbal mount on the booster from 15-degrees to 12. (No applause, please—it was a simple solid trig problem.)
But I got tired of wearing short sleeved white shirts with plastic pocket liners and doing trig problems for the government. I quit and realized I was really not Werner von Braun but actually F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the interim I met my fabulous wife Jovita, and got a job at the Hollywood Citizen-News (lots of great celebrity stories), and when we had our first baby flipped a coin whether to move to San Diego or San Francisco. In SF the McGraw-Hill World News organization liked my science-plus-journalism background so I worked in the SF News Bureau writing articles for 35 different trade magazines. I ended up the West Coast editor of Electronics magazine.
The end of the story comes when I first visited Yosemite Valley in 1966, was knocked out by it, and with $1.98 in the bank and two little girls to feed, quit my job to write the award-winning epic historical novel described on the "publications" page.
Several books later and a career in PR/Advertising, plus living off freelancing and book advances, and...well, the rest of the story is this website. Nowadays I'm finishing two more novels and offering affordable editorial services