Let me set something straight. I was not born in Dublin, Ireland, during the Troubles, the only child of an IRA enforcer who broke me Mum’s heart the night he strayed from his own hand-written instructions, prematurely detonating the little surprise he had lovingly hand-crafted.
Nor am I a forgotten Soviet sleeper, waiting patiently for the KGB’s coded message that will never come – the secret Fibonacci sequence published in the New York Times as the PowerBall winning number, making at least one lucky soul wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, ending my endless nightmares, and dooming all life on this planet.
I was not adopted and, when I turned twenty-six, sold by my foster parents into the infamous Copenhagen underground sex industry where I spent my days under hot lights and hot sheets, and at nightfall, moving unseen from shadow to shadow, hunting those who prey upon the weak.
I did not flunk out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but it was close. The Dean’s office awarded me a degree in psychology after the third recount and paved my road to success by revoking my 2-S draft deferment. In very short order, I received my first job offer – a two-year contract with the U.S. Army.
No, I didn’t get drafted. I joined the Navy.
Having nothing better to do for the next twenty-two years, I became a hospital corpsman, then an aerospace physiologist. I investigated aircraft mishaps, wrote warfighting doctrine, tested survival equipment, built computer networks, and talked my way out of a court martial.
My final tour of duty took me to Meridian, Mississippi. It isn’t hard to fall in love with Mississippi, especially in springtime. When I retired, my wife and I made our home here. Over the quickening years, I worked for some of the most unscrupulous bosses and some of the finest people in the state. I ended up working for myself, hunting embezzlers.
Now I write fiction, taking grains of truth and seasoning them until they’re ready to serve. I call this process by its rightful name – “Embellishment”.
My wife calls it “Lying”.