I was born in Colorado and after living in several different states I moved back home in 1978. I earned graduate degrees in English and in Library Science and worked for many years as a professional librarian. I’ve been writing for a long time, starting as a child and a teenager, when I loved to create worlds of my own. However, I never took that sort of thing seriously until I read Tolkien at the age of 29. I was amazed to find out that a literary scholar of the magnitude of J.R.R Tolkien could continue to create worlds and languages well into his old age, and I was motivated to try to do the same. My early production was high fantasy in the Tolkien mold, although my works always included psychological elements. I sent unsolicited manuscripts off to various publishers (remember, that was the pre-computer age) and was just beginning to get small signs of encouragement when a family situation forced me to take a hiatus from writing. That break lasted 17 years.
By the year 2000 my life had settled down and I bought my first computer, which made writing, oh, so much easier! All the pent-up creativity erupted. Checking the dates on my documents, I find that between January, 2000, and August, 2003, I wrote Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder, the entire Termite Queen, and six volumes of The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head. By then I was ready for something other than the termite saga and I turned my attention to the fictionalized biography of the starship commander Capt. Robbin Nikalishin, titled The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars. The length of this novel got away from me; furthermore, I tried something experimental that didn’t succeed. So I suspended work on it early in 2011 when I began to get serious about publishing some of my earlier material. After a brief period spent querying agents, I decided I would be dead before that route yielded any success (I was 70 years old at the time). I began to self-publish, and my TermiteWriter persona was born!
So what are my books about? In fact, they don’t fit well into categories or popular formulas. At one point I jokingly posted the following on Facebook:
Have you noticed how people tend to categorize their fiction in the most complicated way possible? I recently noticed someone using “young adult fantasy action adventure.” So I’m going to call The Termite Queen “fantasy science fiction romance psychological literary action adventure.” The Ki’shto’ba series is “epic fantasy science fiction mythological psychological action adventure reminiscences.” Something for everybody, you see!
I might add that my books are laid in a future time (28th-30th centuries), which allows me to present my views of future history and ethics. They also contain constructed languages, which I devised for my aliens to speak (insectoids, ornithoids, etc.).
The inspiration for my alien planet inhabited by giant intelligent termites came from the documentary “Mysterious Castles of Clay” which appeared in the 1970s. I thought that an alien culture in which fungus-growing termites have evolved intelligence and yet kept their social insect instincts would be terrific. I resurrected that idea during my creative spurt in the early 2000s and by the year 2016 I’ve published eight books elaborating on that premise.
However, The Termite Queen, where the Shshi (intelligent termites) are introduced, also contains a human love story, with psychological and spiritual implications. The two plotlines run concurrently, but they do clash in the major climax of the book. You have to read the entire book (two volumes) to get the effect I intended.
The series The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head is a quest tale, in which the Champion from The Termite Queen and its Companions set out on a journey to the sea. Along the way they relive many Earth myths, starting with the Trojan War in v.1: The War of the Stolen Mother. The remaining six volumes carry the quest through to the end, including a redaction of the Quest for the Golden Fleece (Golden Fungus in this case) and some asides into Beowulf and The Song of Roland.
I’ve also published four SF/F books without termites in them. Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder is a novella about a first contact gone disastrously wrong. Fathers and Demons is a lengthy excerpt from a later part of The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars; I plan to cut most of this chunk out of the final version, but I thought it was worth preserving. The Blessing of Krozem is a fantasy novelette available only on Smashwords, where it is perpetually FREE. And my latest effort is a lyrical fantasy called Children of the Music, which I actually wrote back in the 1970s. In the works: A revision of The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars.
My books are all available in both paperback and e-reader versions at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N for Nook and paperback and at Kobo as well as the other sites connected to Smashwords.
I have two blogs. Ruminations of a Remembrancer deals with general matters and specifically with The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars. The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head presents material on that series and on the topic of myth in literature. Both sites also include some of my book reviews and analyses, selected reviews of my own books, and sample chapters and illustrations.