Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Twisty Turning Tale of the Dedicated Paperboy!

Everyone has a story, and every story has a side story. One of the side stories of my life is how I found my way into the world of writing. It’s filled with twists and turns and bike wrecks and skinned knees. Now I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but I will give you a few.

Although it’s no front-page headline by any means, my life as a writer began when I started delivering the Aurora Advocate in the Geauga Lake area of Aurora, Ohio when I was 9 or 10. I remember how much I loved wrapping the papers with rubber bands and plastic bags. It felt so official, like I had a real job. I used to zip from house to house, tossing papers on front porches, and stuffing them in those illustrious plastic newspaper boxes, and then racing away from their bloodsucking, fang-growling, killer dogs. Seriously! That was especially scary in the early morning hours of October – trust me!

Delivering papers was spine-chilling and blister-busting work, but I was so proud that I made my own money, regardless of the fact that I usually spent most of my profits long before my “bill” was due. My poor parents had to front the cash at times, like when I bought too many Now & Laters or bottles of Orange Crush and bags of Doritos. But that’s how you learn, right? Right!

Although the money came and went, I was able to upgrade my hand-me-down banana seat clunker to a shiny new BMX bike with bright yellow “Mag” rims. After purchasing my flashy new ride I moved up in the publishing world by taking on a route with the Record-Courier. Now that was a big step, because an everyday paper was a lot more work compared to a once-a-week route. Wheeehh! I couldn’t miss a beat. People have expectations you know! Back then we delivered the paper rain or shine on our bikes and had to have them delivered before suppertime. My brothers had paper routes too. It was a big part of our young lives, and we learned a lot about responsibility, and self-discipline.

Since then, I’ve moved to Indiana, graduated from Indiana University, started a family of my own, and have re-entered into the world of publishing. I published my debut novel, Killing the Giants, in 2009 with Outskirts Press and have recently completed a second novel, David Ray’s 20th, a paranormal suspense thriller. I’m currently working on a paranormal murder mystery called Footprints that will scare the entrails out of you! You can read excerpts of all my books at my website. I’m not really into gore, but I do like suspense novels and movies, whether they’re psychological thrillers, political thrillers, and paranormal or dramatic thrillers. And that’s what I like to write about too. It takes discipline, attention to detail, persistence, a bit of creativity and very thick skin, all of which sprung from my early days as a paperboy.

The point is, if you want to hire someone, hire the kid who used to deliver papers when he or she was young. I believe that wholeheartedly! And I believe those experiences molded and shaped who I became as an adult. I didn’t make a lot of mullah, but I made myself, and that’s a hard thing to recognize. What about you? How did you find out who you are? Are you still searching? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I want to know about you and who’s reading this darn blog, because we’re all in this together...right? So write! (Get it? That’s supposed to be a funny play-on-words.) BOOM!


  1. I'm reading and enjoying your blog, Jeff! It's nice to see another blogger who goes long periods of time between entries. LOL It took most of my unhappy adulthood to start discovering who I was, and I'm still on that journey. Sometimes it's easier to let life happen to you, and learn who you're not. It's much more of a challenge to start controlling your life and being who you want to be. This is where I'm at mid-life, and even when things are "ho-hum-everyday" days I try to find at least one small thing that helps me in my journey.

  2. Thanks Chaos!
    Be sure to "Follow" me so you get all the latest updates. Also feel free to friend me on facebook, where I post snippets of my curremt writing projects. Here's the link...
    And thanks for the comment. It's nice hearing from readers, no matter what I'm writing.


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