I was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. In 1967 I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in History (with honors) and Latin; married my wife Jo (one son, Jonathan, born 1973); and entered Duke Law School. I was drafted out of law school and served in the army 1969-71, spending most of 1970 as an interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse, in Vietnam and Cambodia.
I returned, finished law school, and spent eight years as Assistant Town Attorney of Chapel Hill, NC. In 1980 I resigned and drove a city bus part-time for a year while I did more writing. Since 1981 I’ve been a fulltime freelance writer.
I sold my first story (a really bad Lovecraftian pastiche) to August Derleth of Arkham House in 1966 while I was an undergraduate. I continued to sell stories in law school, the army, and while working as an attorney. In 1979 my first book, the military SF collection Hammer’s Slammers, and my first novel, The Dragon Lord (a swords and sorcery piece) were published.
In total I’ve written or co-written over 60 books; edited or co-edited about thirty; done plot outlines for another twenty-odd, the books themselves being written by another author. I don’t count reissues, whether or not they’re expanded, nor recompilations in these figures. I’ve sold more than a hundred stories.
I’m probably best known for my military SF, but that’s never been more than about a quarter of my output. While all my work has been in the fantasy/SF genre, within these bounds I’ve written about everything except for romance–humor, thriller, epic fantasy, S&S, military SF, space opera, historical (both fantasy and SF).
This is a robin’s egg blue turquoise ring (it hasn’t been heated to drive out the waters of hydration.) My brother-in-law in Iowa had a handicraft shop in which I saw this piece of Navajo silverwork. I thought it was the most lovely turquoise I’d ever seen and my wife bought it for me for our anniversary.