When a fireman or a policeman would come visit our school, most of the other boys’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for me, however, my dreams weren’t to someday be a cop or put out fires; I just wanted to make a movie about it.
I would craft intricate plots using a queen-sized bed to serve as my setting, and a rag-tag group of intrepid adventurers made up of G.I. Joe and Star Wars action figures to serve as my cast of thousands. At an early age, I voraciously consumed books and was an avid movie watcher; sometimes making my parents take me to the theatre two or three times over the course of a single weekend. It seems that from the moment I could walk and talk, I knew that I wanted to tell stories on a grand scale.
I was a straight A student in school, even though I was never a fan of the institution (I have a problem with authority), and I was given the honor of being our senior class president and high school valedictorian. While balancing school and sports, I also found time to nurture my other passion: music. I formed a number of bands and was playing out in clubs all over the state by the age of sixteen. By the time I was twenty-one, I had recorded a couple of albums, opened for national recording artists, and was engaged to the girl of my dreams and my future wife, Gina Patkus.
I graduated summa cum laude from Robert Morris College with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and went to work for a computer firm named Creative Technical Services in Bloomington, IL. I gained a lot of experience while working there, but after nearly a year of driving two hours one way to and from work everyday, I took a job closer to home with an auction firm named Aumann Auctions. I served as Chief Technology Officer for Aumann Auctions and developed management and auction software for their company. When Kurt Aumann, President of Aumann Auctions, and a group of other successful auctioneers from across the country decided to form a national auction franchise, I was asked to take on the role of Chief Technology Officer for the entire network. Eventually, the franchise, MarkNet Alliance, grew into a large network consisting of auctioneers from all over the country and I worked to develop software, including our own online bidding systems, that would keep these companies on the cutting edge of modern technology.
While working at MarkNet, I began work on The Shepherd, my first novel and the first book in a new series of suspense thrillers. After completing The Shepherd, I wrote the first several chapters of two other novels that will come later, before deciding to make The Box my next project. The first word in The Box is “bullets” and I feel that perfectly sets the novel’s tone as an action thrill ride. I am currently writing The Box, which will also be the first book in a new action/adventure series, while also working on bringing my first novel to publication.
I currently reside in Nokomis, IL with my wife, Gina, our two daughters, Madison and Calissa, and our vicious watchdog, Gizmo (he’s a Shih Tzu). My free time is currently split between my family, my church, where I am the Worship Leader and a leader in the youth group, and writing.