I was raised in Escondido, California, which is a very conservative community even today. My battles with the powers that be started in the first grade and lasted until I moved away in 1968. My twin brother and I were considered outcasts and we had a very difficult time in high school. “Watch out for the twins; they are so different!”
The first class reunion I attended was in 2001. It took me forty years to understand that it was OK to be liberal in my thinking and actions! The crazy part is that I voted conservative and loved Ronald Regan, who is still my hero. Just following in my parents' footsteps, I suspect.
My twin and I went on to have successful careers in the construction industry, marry, and have families in Tucson, Arizona, which was the city we were born in and migrated back to. My brother still lives there, while I moved on to northern Arizona. My wife and I live in the very small community of Camp Verde, which happens to also be very conservative.
Two years ago, I decided (with the blessing of my wife) to write a murder mystery called Evil in the Mirror. Three months later the work was finished and we then began the proofing, editing and publishing process. While that was going on, I wrote a sequel called Day Stalker. Consequently, both books have been published and let out into the wild. I am now working on the last book of the trilogy, The Phoenix Code, and hope to have it published this summer.
What emerged from these books were very dark, disturbing and scary stories. There is graphic sex and violence, which I maintain is the catalyst for most real life murder stories. My books are not in the genre of Stephen King, but instead, more akin to real life horror stories like Ted Bundy, only worse. They are not for the faint of heart or conservative of mind.
Which brings me to my point; some people can’t or won’t read my books. At first, I took this negative response personally, but now I have come full circle in the realization that the reason my twin and I were shunned was because of our incredible imaginations. We were light-years ahead of everyone else and that fact scared teachers and students alike. In our school days, there was only one way and that was the conservative way!
What I now understand is that we were not alone; there were many kids in our school who had the same problems. Many of them have responded with enthusiasm toward my work. One, a bestselling author, has deemed my work brilliant. It doesn’t get any better than that! Actually, her work is very brilliant also and I am proud to know her.
Well, I am now poised to attend my 50th class reunion in May. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones after all these years. I might even sell a few books.