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John grew up in the chaparral-covered suburbs of northern Los Angeles, spending most of his youth outdoors in that hot, dry environment. The land was thriving, filled with lizards, rabbits, and coyotes. He spent hours escaping the sun in forts built of yucca and manzanita, the still air thick with the scent of eucalyptus, and would lay on the cool dirt staring through the crosshatch of branches at a perfect, blue sky, and an occasional red-tailed hawk. In his imagination, he took flight with those birds—a reverie that found its way into lucid dreams where he flew through the clouds in utter joy. Summers were also spent exploring the native, desert mountains—riding horses and motorcycles, rummaging abandoned houses and treacherous, old quartz mines—experiences which contributed to his writing. 

It’s funny how powerfully those brief years of youth influence the remaining decades of our lives, though he confesses to an overactive imagination, and overthinking things to a fault. As a sensitive boy, he was keen to the feedback that writing was frivolous. Soon enough, his energy pivoted from the arts to the sciences, though that nagging boyhood voice always remained. He suppressed it while studying biology and philosophy, always inspired by the ethos and humility of the hardworking everyman. After three years in the US Army, he transitioned into biotechnology, while also earning an MFA in Creative Writing—if for nothing else, to be an example to his daughters to follow their dreams, regardless of naysayers.

The Dark Prairie is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and he is currently editing Part 2. He is grateful to anyone who finds his stories entertaining, though also hopes to prompt introspection. Writers, after all, aren’t jesters. They transform the world by opening it, sometimes with force, and sometimes with nuance, though ideally toward the higher goal of union with one another.

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