I’m a father and a husband, a brother and a son. I’m an Ivy League grad who worked in a warehouse, an MMA fighter with too many defeats. I’m the bouncer and bodyguard, the drunk guy in the fight. The jailer and the jailed, the guilty and innocent.
I’m a writer shaped by influences, too many to count. I grew up on King and Koontz while force-fed the Bible. I narrate Dr. Seuss and Disney nearly every night. Like you, I’ve seen things I wished I hadn’t, heard some truths I won’t forget.
Writing is my heavy bag, the sparring partner that doesn’t punch back. It’s where I shed my armor and cast off the blindfold, take a look at myself and the world around me. The writing takes me wherever it wants. Dark alley or dinner table, classroom or morgue. I go along for the ride and try to capture the moment, show life like it is.
“Like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and read my blog to stay up to date on my latest posts, short stories, and interviews with fighters around the country.
For a more in-depth look at who I am, what I’ve learned from Unlocking the Cage, and why I enjoy fiction, check out this interview I did with Richard Godwin.
Short Film Adaptation of 5 Minutes Alone from
25 Perfect Days
I wasn’t sure how I felt about mixed martial arts (MMA) when I began Unlocking the Cage 18 months ago. Although I fought for several years after graduating from Brown, I had turned away from the sport and no longer cared for it. My desire to understand why I fought came from a place of fear; would my young daughter follow in my footsteps?
The first fight team I trained with was (read more…)
Meghan wrote to me after reading the first two stories of RP. She really liked them and was interested in reading more of my work. Turns out her mom isn’t nearly as cool as we hoped and wouldn’t let her read Brightside or 25 Perfect Days. She did however tell her we were coming out with a YA horror novel that might be appropriate.
But I’ve been asking MMA fighters to share their stories, to be open and honest about their past – no matter how painful, no matter how embarrassing. I’d be a hypocrite if I couldn’t do the same.
Suicide isn’t something people talk about though. Some say it’s a sin, it’s selfish. It’s a shame. My mom can’t even say the word, just scrunches up her face when she says so-and-so passed.
I can’t help but think that’s part of the problem. Maybe if people talked about it, the struggling would know they’re not alone.
I wish I had words for those that have been affected by suicide, words to somehow lessen the sadness, but I … (read more…)
I’ve been to 75 MMA gyms across the country since I began Unlocking the Cage and I’m never sure what to expect. My main focus is on discovering who the fighters are and why they fight, but I always keep my eyes open for things that interest me. When I stopped by Wink’s Gym in Albuquerque, NM I was hoping to speak with Coach Mike Winkeljohn, a champion kickboxer and one of the top striking coaches in the world. I had no idea we’d end … (read more…)
Mark asked me to write about something very important and life changing for his MMA anthology. I told him how lucky I was, that everything in my life was so good I just didn’t have anything to write about. Unfortunately that just changed. It’s a coincidence that he asked me to write something for a book about fighting and then the opportunity to tell such a fighter’s tale makes itself available.
About 20 years ago my mom went on a business trip and contracted a very rare form of food poisoning that shut down her kidney function. Up until a few years … (read more…)