My dad was a decorated ace in the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain, having received the Distinguished Flying Cross. I think that’s where I got my love of aviation from. My Mom was a saint. Period.
I soloed on Halloween, 1968, from the old Burnside-Ott Aviation Training Center at Opa-Locka Airport in Florida, graduating from North Miami Senior High that same year. I remember it was a beautiful little Cessna 150. Okay, it wasn’t a Lear Jet. We can’t have everything. Blue sky is blue sky.
I graduated from Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, in 1974, having received a Bachelor’s degree in writing and a Master’s in history. Flagstaff is the home of Lowell Observatory, where Percival Lowell did so much to further our understanding of Mars at the turn of the last century, and where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. It’s also the home of the U.S. Geological Survey, which was the 1st to process the pictures of Mars, sent from the old Mariner missions in the 60’s. N.A.U. astronomers were also the first to discover caves on Mars due to the darker light at their entrances when compared to the surrounding area.
I did awful in high school because I hated it. I did great in college because I loved it. No brainer. Now, I know why Northern Arizona is called God’s country. Visit it sometime! I’ve climbed down to the bottom of the magnificent Grand Canyon (and yes, out again – obviously), and still feel the aches and pains some 40 years later. I’ll walk it off. Maybe some liniment…
I’ve lived in Florida, New York, California, Ontario, Canada, and now Arizona again. And, we come full circle.
I started writing seriously around 1978. Prior to that I suppose I wasn’t serious – shopping lists, addressing letters, hastily scribbled recipes, threatening notes to other car owners to get out of my parking space – things like that. Since then, I’ve written THE HEALER, CHERRIES IN WINTER, IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOUSE OF GOD, and UNCLE BILLY’S CHICKEN HUT & SALVATION EMPORIUM, plus 33 short stories.
I’ve always been attracted to the weird and unexplainable. I suppose it all began when I first looked into a mirror. I’m a great believer in UFO’s, and detest the conspiracy of silence concerning them. I believe the future of space commercialization lies in private enterprise. As such, I also believe that Mars should be our top priority. And, what will we find when we get there? Remnants of an ancient civilization. And – of course – the infamous Face on Mars. Don’t believe me? Wait. As Fox Mulder said, “The truth is out there.”
My favorite authors? Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, James Thurber, Thornton Wilder, H.G. Wells, and many others, fiction and non-fiction, and too numerous to mention.
I did my Master’s thesis on THE LOST CONTINENT OF ATLANTIS. I was going to write on THE SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF SANTA CLAUS but I was afraid of getting a lump of coal in my stocking that Christmas.
I love 60’s muscle cars, cheeseburgers, kittens and puppies, Enya, Mars, peace and quiet, fringe science, airplanes, suppressed inventions, the past, the future, the Philadelphia experiment, vexillology (the study of flags), NDE’s, Disneyworld, ghosts, and the wisdom of Edmund Burke, who said, “The only requirement for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do – nothing.”
The things I hate would require more storage capacity than the computers of the Starship Enterprise. So, if you want to know, you’ll just have to wait until the 25th century!
I’m a type B introvert. I believe in the contemplative, quiet life. Locked in a closet, I’d probably start writing on the walls. I believe in the Golden Rule – and live by it. I prefer the country to the city.
Someone once said that all speculative fiction begins with a two-word premise: What if? Works for me.
Just remember, friends – at best, life is a joke. At worst, none of this is real; it’s all done with smoke and mirrors. Actually, life is really a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Jeffrey Roberts is a Graduate of Northern Arizona University, with degrees in writing and history. A life-long interest in the weird & unexplainable. A passion for aviation, having soloed in 1968. Writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. A proponent of space privatization, and a firm believer in an ancient Martian civilization.
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