Once upon a time, I spent six years living in Hawaii. I was a jewelry salesman, grocery clerk, restaurant server, property caretaker, artistic organization consultant, avid hiker, waterfall chaser, and body-surfer. I wrote a blog on Things Stuff and Consciousness, which developed from being largely reflections on philosophical ideals into a home for the development of my fictional short stories.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to start writing more serious, but relatable, fictional content. Thus the beginnings of my book, Alethea's Dreams, were born.
Serious about Play
While making coffee early one morning on Maui I was told:
"You know for someone so smart, you are really stupid."
What that meant was that I was living a fun carefree life, but my non-blood-related uncle thought that I had much more potential than I was actualizing. I took his concern seriously and decided to travel from Maui to the Netherlands to study for my Masters in Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture. In that adventure I learned a great deal about the history of humanity, philosophy, and culture; but most importantly, I became a better writer.
Though I still lived near the beach during my time studying at Leiden University, I put my boardshorts and Alethea's Dreams manuscript aside and spent most of the next year in the library. Academia made me feel sticky inside: it presumed that it knew so much and that there could be no other options than those held by the points of view that it had already come to accept.
This wasn't enough for me, so I became even more serious about play. I wanted to show that philosophy was not all about 'old dead guys' or the ramblings of French and German existentialists and idealists who had become estranged from humanity through thinking too deeply about both simple and complex questions.
Captain of my own ship
When I graduated I reaffirmed what I already knew: the philosophy factory isn't hiring. I had already published one book of non-fictional experimental phenomenology and I had a book worth of philosophical fiction sitting on my hard drive.
After feeling the effects of the demystification of institutions in my life I decided that what I really should do was clean up my first book, Life is Weird, and run the second edition of it with my improved writing and editing skills. That project taught me the ins and outs of the publishing process.
I decided to found Prefuture Publishing to independently publish my work. This meant that I would not only write books but that I would need to learn to be my own editor (though I still need proofreaders to catch a few mistakes), create my own cover and interior layouts, and handle all the administrative paperwork and marketing. It is a lot of work, but I sincerely appreciate the challenges and shortcomings that come with being intimately involved in every aspect of publishing—even if at times I want to cry on the floor and pull out all of my hair.
I currently live in the Netherlands where I chase wild intellectual and creative dreams with my lovely partner. I publish academic journals by day and fiction on the evenings and weekends.
My most recent published work, Alethea's Dreams, was released in June of 2021, and my debut novel, Son of a Madman, was published one year later, in September of 2022. I am currently working on a new short novel about Dutch class/wealth/income inequality in Den Haag (The Hague). I plan to write and publish more books in the future.
My greatest aspiration is that my books will open up the minds of my readers. Though I live and work in the city, for the time being, I want to eventually return to a more natural life, far from the cities, where I grow the majority of my own food and live a simple and reflective life in harmony with nature—values which are often expressed in my books.
It is a long road to get there, but I am happy to take you along with me through the evolution of my work.