The first signs that I might like writing about sports -- and be slightly competitive -- appeared when my year two (or first grade) teacher, Mrs. Holland, asked my class to write and illustrate our day. Mine read like this: “The Red team beat the Blue team, 1 to nil. And I won.” The next 47 entries covered my exploits on the soccer pitch while growing up in Ipswich, England.
In South Carolina as a teenager, my dad told me that I could get paid to watch sports provided I could write about it. Sounded easy enough and by the time I was 16, I landed a job at my town’s daily newspaper and had a column on Major League Baseball players from our area. I also covered my first riot there at a sporting event -- and it’s safe to say I was smitten with journalism.
After graduating from one of the best journalism schools in the country, I took a job as a sports editor in South Georgia and learned firsthand about the passion of high school sports in rural America. I thought I knew before, but I didn’t. This was another world.
I also had the opportunity to cover major sporting events like the Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four. It was a thrill!
But nothing was as thrilling to me as uncovering the truth in investigative assignments. I once broke a story about a prominent southern football team’s NCAA violation -- and found out the violating coach had committed suicide only a few months earlier. The story won a national writing award and stoked my desire to write about these issues. It made me realize that the sports world was just another fantastic backdrop for drama.
After writing non-fiction books with athletes, for athletes, and ghost writing for many others, I decided to enter the world of fiction writing. It had been something I wanted to do but never found the time. So, I made the time--and had a blast in the process.
I’m not out to become the next Faulkner or Hemingway -- I’m just out to tell a good story. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!