First off, Big Thanks to the admins for assisting me getting my registration figured out. (Sorry about being a squeaky wheel)

And a big hello to everyone else out there in the community! I heard about Absolute Write via 'author tube' on youtube and I'm eager to look around and post.

I'm actually a freelance illustrator (and sculptor) who's always loved writing. When I worked on my bachelor's degree (years ago), I wrote a lot. I took creative writing and even wrote a book for myself. It started as a whim and I just wanted to see if I could do it. I finished it and edited it and that was it. Then I concentrated on my artwork.

I initially wanted to work in comic books. I loved them and still do. I started a small illustration company of one after college, but wasn't going anywhere. I live in rural North Dakota, so gaining clients was tough. I ended up pursuing my masters degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design. That was a blast and I was able to dabble in a number of other departments and even get back into writing a bit more. I met my wife there and my art focus evolved into storyboarding and design work.

We moved to Los Angeles where we both had internships. We both got part time work and I started on my freelance work. I ended up working in all sorts of places. Fx shops designing and sculpting appliances for tv and movies, storyboards for commercials, etc. I even did construction on a NIKE commercial set. I grabbed anything cause it is TOUGH to make a living in LA.

It wasn't easy though. We moved there right when there was a writer's strike and we ended up leaving in the middle of the recession. We moved back up to my home state of North Dakota. My wife took some adjusting as she is from the tropical island of Barbados. The winters were quite a change for her.

Luckily, I can work remotely from my home office here and I do alright.

When our son came along 5 years ago, I started to think about what else I could do. Then, a little over 2 1/2 years ago, I started to create children's books. Our son loves to read and I wanted to make some books for him. And if anyone else likes them, that's great! At the same time, I started to think about writing again. Over the years I had written small stuff for fun here and there. Maybe just to keep it alive.

I ended up keeping the secret that I was writing. I didn't want to give it away in case it was a total failure. I just plugged along with my freelance art and my children's books. Then, mostly late at night when everyone went to bed, I would steal away a few hours to write short stories and plan some books. I would read and study whenever I could. I had stashes of books on writing hidden all over. I looked like an addict.

On my birthday earlier this month, I revealed my secret to my wife and I believe her words were, "Why the hell did you hide all this?"

I had decided to tell her on my birthday as a present to myself so I could do this in the open during the day, but also because I had sold a couple of short stories that I had submitted months earlier. So now I am working more hours during the day on my writing and submitting more stories, entering more contests, and studying studying studying, practicing practicing practicing.

....And, I think I'm writing a book here too. I didn't realize I would drone on so long. Sorry about that. Anyways, I'm very happy to be here with all of you. I'm certain that I will learn a lot and hopefully my future posts will be less verbose.

All the best!
Josh