My nickname “Shotgun” came from an old friend who declared meeting me and visiting my home was like getting blasted with a sawed-off.
I took that as a compliment.
Being Gun means living life as close to the blood and bone as possible, and writing what I find from doing so. My life is a menagerie of experience and expression. When you visit my website, I hope you feel the same way as when you meet me for the first time or come visit me at my home. We should all leave one another with a memory each and every time we interact.
My father was a prolific investigative journalist/author and I was born writing. At 19, as an undergrad at the University of Georgia, I began interviewing death row inmate Carl Isaacs who had been the subject of a book my father had written. Compelled to understand his work and Isaacs’ crime, I began writing CUDGEL (aka COMING CLEAN), a personal memoir.
During this period I began publishing work regionally and quickly landed assignments nationally – finding an unlikely niche in the martial arts genre covering the then-controversial UFC. International travel/coverage was involved. This led to my work appearing in martial arts, men’s interest and lifestyle magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Working with fighters, promoters, and trainers, I became intrinsically involved in the then-unnamed new industry of MMA. From a fighter’s personal life to their pre-event training, my writing and photography made me a go-to person in the sport’s infancy (and now a historian).
Simultaneously, I searched for other engaging ideas and markets that could help develop my interest in travel, people, and writing.
Covering 350+mile adventure competitions like the Eco-Challenge in B.C., Argentina, and Australia, for Penthouse Magazine’s adventure column and dozens of other magazines and websites, gained me the contacts and experience I needed to expand as a writer and traveler. My connections with competitors, race organizers/personnel and foreign entities grew rapidly and opened many more doors. Other races, such as the 6-stage, 7-day 150-mile footrace through the Sahara called the Marathon Des Sables, and its 100-mile nonstop sister race, the Desert Cup in Jordan, exposed me to a level of athleticism and human potential that I wrote about with passion; seeing an 80-year-old run 150-miles in 130-degree temps is somewhat life-altering.
In the midst of building bodies of work around the UFC/martial arts and adventure races/extreme athletes, I was also working on character profiles, such as motorcycle maverick Jesse James, and investigative pieces on a variety of topics, including NYC-based features on billionaire charity events, the homeless, the gentrification of Harlem, subway performers and 9-11.
Post 9-11 I traveled less and began working on scripts/TV treatments for a NY-based producer and experimenting with various social media/marketing ideas in order to keep upgraded in an increasingly digital environment. The magazine industry remained, and the Internet had finally become streamlined and accessible as a new frontier to increase my career’s bandwidth. Blogging with Richard Zombeck on his Home Preservation Network (HPN) and BLUZINK during the economic debacle of 2008 and the housing crisis that followed, I exercised the free will afforded a usually tightly-reigned, deadline-meeting print journalist in the infinite wonderland of cyberspace.
The financial crises, with a warm spot in my heart for mortgage fraud, gave birth to my blog series, DEBT AND GONE.
Side projects include having my father’s three out-of-print, in-demand books republished (“Dead Man Coming,” “Escape of My Dead Men,” and “Lord Don’t Love Ugly”), and finishing my two novels, “Underbelly,” and “Anna Battle,” and my memoir, “Coming Clean.”
Generally, as it turns out, I do what I want to do, when I want to do it.