Bachelors of Science, Education - Oregon State University

Senior Professional in Human Resources - Human Resources Certification Institute

Senior Professional - Society for Human Resources Management

 

I was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon, and have been a fiction writer for a long time. My earliest work was in middle school, when I wrote under the pen name Duwaine Dale Ross. The title for this first attempt at writing fiction was “Why P.K. Was Absent From School Yesterday.” Unfortunately, my marketing strategy was bad and the school vice-principal didn't buy my story. I also ran into legal problems—seems my father had rights to the same nom de plume and threatened me with punitive damages to my backside if I ever tried to publish under that name again. My lawyer (Mom) advised me to “cease and desist.”


This early failure did not, however, deter me from a career in the creative arts—a draft notice from my local Army recruiter was the deterrent. After two years of university studies, I spent four years as an Air Traffic Controller in Uncle Sam’s Navy. That was long enough for me to decide I didn’t want to be an Air Traffic Controller for the rest of what would surely be my short life if I chose that path. A degree in education and two years teaching middle school weren’t the answer to my life’s goal questions either. After spending a few years in sales and marketing, I settled into a career in human resources, specializing in organizational development, which involved a lot of written communication.
   

While between jobs I took a course in writing fiction and rediscovered my passion for telling a good story. I handed in my first writing assignment to my instructor and asked her what genre` my story would align with. She said, “It’s a mystery to me.” So, encouraged by those words of wisdom, I forged ahead toward my new life goal and wrote my first mystery novel, The Dead Girl Reunion.

A friend once asked me how I could transition from the realm of human resources, where I focused on helping people achieve success through better communication, to writing murder mysteries. My response was that you can’t sit across the table from some frequent-flyer head case, who constantly makes the lives of his co-workers miserable, and not say to yourself, “I should just kill this guy.” Then your mind wanders and you start thinking about how you could do it, how to get rid of the body, and the next thing you know—a story is born.

I once again live in Corvallis, Oregon, having moved back home from Seattle with my wife, Liz, to write full-time. (My relocation from Seattle had nothing to do with any hypothetical or alleged homicides as described above.) I don’t have a dog—or a cat—or a goldfish—to captivate your heart with a cute picture, so I hope you will enjoy my stories. They’re all I have to give you.