My father was a prolific investigative journalist/author and I was born writing. At 19, as an undergrad at the University of Georgia, I began interviewing death row inmate Carl Isaacs who had been the subject of a book my father had written. Compelled to understand his work and Isaacs’ crime, I began writing CUDGEL (aka COMING CLEAN), a personal memoir.
During this period I began publishing work regionally and quickly landed assignments nationally – finding an unlikely niche in the martial arts genre covering the then-controversial UFC. International travel/coverage was involved, publishing my work in martial arts, men’s interest and lifestyle magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Working with fighters, promoters and trainers, I became intrinsically involved in the then-unnamed new industry of MMA. From a fighter’s personal life to their pre-event training, my writing and photography made me a go-to person in the sport’s infancy (and now an historian).
Simultaneously, I searched for other engaging ideas and markets that could help develop my interest in travel, people and writing.
Covering the Eco-Challenge, a 350-mile adventure competition in B.C., Argentina and Australia, for Penthouse Magazine’s adventure column and dozens of other magazines and websites, gained me the contacts and experience I needed. My connections with competitors, race organizers/personnel and foreign entities grew rapidly and opened many more doors. Other races, such as the 6-stage, 7-day 150-mile footrace through the Sahara, the Marathon Des Sables, and its 100-mile non-stop sister race the Desert Cup in Jordan, exposed me to a level of athleticism and human potential that I wrote about with passion; seeing an 80-year-old run 150-miles in 130 degree temps is somewhat life-altering.
In the midst of building bodies of work around the UFC/martial arts and adventure races/extreme athletes, I was also working on character profiles, such as motorcycle maverick Jesse James, and investigative pieces on a variety of topics, including billionaire NYC charity events, the homeless and subway performers.
Post 9-11 I traveled less and began working on scripts/TV treatments for a NY-based producer and experimenting with various social media/marketing ideas in order to keep upgraded in an increasingly digital environment. The magazine industry remained, and the Internet had finally become streamlined and accessible as a new frontier to increase my career’s bandwidth. Blogging with Richard Zombeck on his Home Preservation Network (HPN) and BLUZINK, I exercised the free will afforded a usually tightly-reigned, deadline-meeting print journalist in the infinite wonderland of cyberspace. The financial crises, with a warm spot in my heart for mortgage fraud, gave birth to my blog series, DEBT AND GONE.
Now I know how to roll and have that oh-so-ballyhooed “writer’s platform,” and I’m enjoying the heady fun of developing my sites. Challenges include having my father’s 3 out-of-print, in-demand books republished, and finishing my two books, UNDERBELLY and COMING CLEAN.
Generally, as it turns out, I do what I want to do, when I want to do it.