I was born in Boston, but by age ten developed an independent streak that led me to boarding school in New York City, where I was classically trained as a boy chorister. I loved the singing…sitting through five church services a week, not so much. I kept singing in high school back in Massachusetts, and college as well, where I studied Military History and joined the Army ROTC program. That meant physical training at 6am three mornings a week, so while my dorm mates were out partying late into the night, I was…actually, right there with them. But I really regretted it a mile or so into the next morning’s run.
After graduation, I was commissioned as a cavalry officer, and assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry in Schweinfurt, Germany in 2003. We deployed to Iraq in 2004, where I was lucky enough to lead first a tank platoon, and then a scout platoon on combat patrols during our year-long deployment. That experience inspired me to write an absurdist memoir of my time “downrange” – but I took my sweet time working on it, first leaving the Army to pursue a career as a strategy consultant back in New York.
I shopped my manuscript around to several agents, got some nibbles, and some polite “no thank yous,” and then shelved it, disappointed. And then I heard about all the ways indie authors were successfully publishing their own work online, my independent streak slapped me upside the head a few times, I found a great cover designer, and published it online myself. Four months later it hit the New York Times bestseller list, and I realized that maybe I could make a career out of my dream job. So, when I’m not spending time with my lovely wife and daughter, I’m frantically working on my next book.