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Who AM I, And Where In THE World Did I Come From?

I grew up on the shores of Klamath Lake in southeastern Oregon.  For a young boy it was truly a dream world of water, hills, forests and abundant wildlife.  There I developed a love for all things outdoors; canoeing, fishing, sailing, camping, hiking, bird watching, and general boyhood adventuring in all the wild places surrounding the lake.  Not to mention a burning obsession with every kind of team sport available; football, baseball, basketball, and track.

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And from my Dad, a family physician, who’d had a similar upbringing in rural Idaho, I developed a love for wild creatures.  We rescued all kinds of injured and orphaned wildlife; the highlight being the time we raised a Great Horned Owl from a chick when I was twelve years old.  The owlet had been orphaned when one of our neighbors took down a haystack and discovered an owl’s nest in it.  (I’m thinking there’s a young adult / children’s book in my future based on that episode!)

It was routine and normal for the family dinner table discussions to involve history, politics, and anything interesting going on in the world.  So, when I attended the University of Oregon it seemed perfectly natural (and easy) to study history and political science. 

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My love for action and adventure morphed into a lifelong love for books when my Mom read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to us kids on a long family road trip just after we’d raised the owl.  I was smitten with Tolkien’s world, and used my natural born artistic abilities to create a series of paintings of various scenes from the books (several of these still hang on walls around my house, some forty years later.)

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But everyone said you couldn’t make a living in those fields (I’m finally about to find out!), so I thought I’d also try my hand at Computer Science.  That seemed like the place one could at least get a job.  After all, look at how well that new startup called ‘Microsoft’ was doing, already grossing $20 million annually (yes, I said million with an M!) and looking to maybe double that in the next few years!

I’ve been writing professionally, in the software development business for more than 35 years now.  I started out as an entry level programmer and have since done just about everything there is to do in the business.  I have written technical specifications, database designs, user interface designs, website content, users manuals, marketing materials, legal documents, software reviews, etc., etc.  I have written uncounted tens of thousands of pages of work in my software career, but never any fiction (although some people might argue marketing material is fiction, but I digress!)

Over the years the need to use the other, more adventurous and creative side of my brain has grown, until it finally reached "The Breaking" point (pun intended) a few years ago.  I think when I told my wife I was going to write a book her first reaction was, "Oh, like you don’t already have enough to do?"  But when she saw me staying up past midnight working on it, squeezing in time on lunch breaks, and bringing my laptop on outings so if there were a few spare minutes of down time I could write, she became a believer (and my biggest supporter, I should add.)

I currently live near Seattle with my wife Patricia. My three adult children Nick, Rachel, and Josh also live in the Puget Sound area.

Road to the Breaking has been a true labor of love; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!  And please use the contact form on this website to write me; I would love to talk history in general, and "The Breaking" in particular with you!

 

- Chris