I've written some books that have been marketed as westerns,
I don't consider myself a "western" author.
Early influences were Mark Twain, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells.
Add lots of comic books, Mad Magazine, some Playboy interviews
and science fiction into the mix. Later came Hemingway and
Fitzgerald, and more recently, Joseph Campbell.
Most of what I read came from the public library, some of
it I squandered my money on, and a small percentage of the
rest--such as the Playboys--was stolen from the corner drugstore
(don't try this at home, kids).
School bored me, and I was a perennial troublemaker--sometimes
with good reason, considering some of the cretins I had to
deal with--and I was what they now call an "at-risk" student.
I always knew I was going to be a writer, even when my high
school guidance counselor advised me to "give up these pipe
dreams" and do the sensible thing by joining the military.
When Raiders of the Lost Ark first came out, I remember being
absolutely taken with it and thinking to myself, "somebody
gets paid to write this stuff, and maybe someday it will be
The Indiana Jones books have proved more difficult to write
than I first imagined. But that's because I treat them with
the same respect as I do my other books, and because they
tend to take a relatively long time to write.
I'm thrilled to be able to do something I love to do--tell
stories--and get paid for it.