Growing up on a small farm in the Midwest was about as American as you can get. We had cows and chickens, had a vegetable garden, went to school on a big yellow bus, worked in hay and cornfields and went to the county fair every year. I knew there were different places and different people who lived in those places; after all, we lived in the country not in a cave and we had a television. As I grew and matured, I used to dream about those other places and those other people. So much so that I started creating stories in my head. It didn’t take long for me to start putting those stories on paper and by the time I was fifteen years old, my first short story was published in my high school newspaper. And that, as they say, was the beginning of my dream to become a real writer.