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The first and best lesson I ever learned was how to travel by book. As a child, I wandered the well-worn paths and pages of distant lands with lyrical names like Wonderland, Remalna, Luster, and Rivendell. Later, I learned how to navigate more dangerous roads, the ones that led into forbidden forests and ancient crypts fraught with nameless, shapeless perils. Now, as a writer and self-proclaimed wordsmith, it is my profession and my privilege to forge new paths for wayfarers like me into worlds yet undiscovered, one word at a time.

FAIRY TALE ROOTS

I grew up reading Tolkien and Rowling, and watching Rankin/Bass and Jim Henson Company films on a temperamental VHS player.

In my poster-plastered room, with a cat at my feet and a stack of books by my bed, I wrote in my journal, scribbled in my sketchbooks, and wondered if one day I too would receive a letter from Hogwarts, or fall through a portal to another dimension—preferably one with more unicorns and fewer brussel sprouts.

In my backyard, I became someone else. I was Lara Croft, Sally the rag doll, or Eowyn, shield-maiden of Rohan. Sometimes I was someone halfway between my heroines and myself, someone with my face but braver, stronger, more beautiful—a witch, a spy, a pirate, or my own knight in shining armor. Whatever, and whoever, I was, one thing remained constant: I was always going on an adventure.

Some of my major literary influences include J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Robin McKinley, and Oscar Wilde.

 

FROM GAMER TO FREELANCER

I fell into my first writing gig in much the same way Alice fell down the rabbit-hole—suddenly and accidentally, as a direct result of blindly stumbling after my own insatiable curiosity.

I was in college, had (somewhat belatedly) discovered the wonders of both the horror genre and video games as a narrative art form, and thought it might be interesting to try my hand at crafting flavor text, or perhaps even a script, for a game of my own. Instead, I somehow wound up working as a video game journalist for The Indie Game Magazine.

Since that fateful October in 2012, my writing has appeared in a variety of print and web publications, including PC Gamer, Listverse, Thrillist, Artistry in Games, and One Green Planet. I’ve also created and managed several of my own blogs over the years, and I am currently a staff editor and sometime-writer for a major online marketing company. Through it all, I’ve remained both an avid reader and gamer.

My list of favorite games changes often, but usually includes titles like Silent Hill 2 and 3, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, American McGee’s Alice, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, This War of Mine, and The Last Guardian.

 

BROADENING HORIZONS

As a freelance writer, I eventually branched out to cover other topics besides gaming, including mythology, environmental issues, and mental and physical health. As a novelist-in-progress and fiction aficionado, I have experimented with a variety of flavors over the years, but have come (to no one’s surprise) to favor fantasy and horror above all.

Regardless of the genre or the topic, however, the core of my writing and the focus of my passion has always been storytelling. Though I thoroughly enjoy exploring the world we currently live in and venture out into the great wide open as often as I can, fiction remains my first love and my favorite form of transportation.

For more information about my professional life, check out my LinkedIn profile. For travel pictures, literary references, and other arbitrary curiosities, consider following me on Twitter and Instagram @dreamwarrior_13.