I was born in November, 1980, about three weeks after the election of Ronald Reagan, less than two weeks before the assassination of John Lennon. The defining events of my childhood (in terms of "newsy" events rather than personal ones) would be the Challenger disaster in 1986, the start of the Gulf War in 1990, the collapse of the USSR a year later, and Clinton's election the following year (I was 20 and in college when the attacks of September 11, 2011 occurred). I was born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and attended public schools in the Coatesville Area School District.
Many of my
interests and hobbies date back to my childhood--for example, I first
got involved in politics in first grade, just before I turned seven, and
I first started writing seriously at the age of 11 or so. My first
book, completed about a year later, could be described as Narnia fan
fiction (of course, I didn't know the term "fan fiction" back then). My
lifelong interest in epic fantasy started at the same time, with the
same inspiration, although C.S. Lewis has since been eclipsed in my
heart by several other authors, including J.R.R. Tolkien, Lloyd
Alexander, and Robert Jordan. My next significant writing project was in
the early-to-mid 1990s, and was a series of six X-Files inspired stories with a continuous plot (a serial novel of sorts).
began to develop in the summer of 1997, just before my junior year in
high school. My primary inspiration at the time was The Lord of the Rings,
with other influences including The Prydain Chronicles, Narnia, the
card game Magic: The Gathering, Warhammer (the game, which I've actually
never played...I just liked looking at the catalog!), Hawthorne's The Marble Faun, and The Princess Bride. The world as originally conceived was rather Tolkienesque; as it developed, it became more and more original and unique.
During the process of writing the first Tornalia novel (The Dagger of Despair,
written from 1998 to 2000, when I was a senior in high school and a
freshman at Cornell), another key influence was Robert Jordan's Wheel of
Time series, which became one of my primary obsessions for the next
several years. Other obsessions of my childhood and early adulthood, in
rough chronological order (there was a lot of overlap): trains,
dinosaurs, baseball, Legos, Star Wars, UFOs, The X-Files, The Lord of the Rings,
Magic: The Gathering, The Wheel of Time, the Civilization series of
computer games, anime, and political websites. Clearly, I'm someone who
has a tendency to develop obsessive interests. I think my geek
credentials have been well established!
I met Erin, my
future wife, in Spanish class during our freshman year at Cornell
University in 1999, but it was a couple years before we really got to
know each other. Our friendship grew, and ultimately it dawned on us
that we are in fact soul mates. I also developed a deep interest in
Japanese culture, history, and language in college, something Erin and I
shared, and we both wound up living in Japan after graduating.
Erin and I have two kids: Zachary, born in February of 2008, and Norah, born in July of 2010.
career has been focused at the intersection of international travel and
education, including stints as a high school English teacher in Japan, a
career services assistant in Cornell's business school, and my current
role, an immigration and programming assistant at Cornell, where I
assist international students, faculty, and staff with immigration and
visa issues. Earlier odd jobs: construction worker, camp counselor (I
was primarily responsible for the care of animals, not kids), paint
store clerk, and intern in a city hall.
been an avid reader (although less so from roughly 2000 to 2006 or so,
when my main sources of entertainment were TV, movies, anime, and
from the writers mentioned in my last post, my favorite authors include
Shakespeare, Poe, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, Orson Scott Card, J.K.
Rowling...well, I could keep listing authors all day, but I'll just say
the next tier would include Goethe, Terry Goodkind, Haruki Murakami,
Eddings, and Stephen King. For nonfiction, the list would start with
Carl Sagan, Jared Diamond, Al Franken, and Michael Moore. My favorite
movies include Star Wars (original trilogy), The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Life is Beautiful, Amelie, Braveheart, Pan's Labyrinth, The Shawshank Redemption, and anything by Hayao Miyazaki.
about 2007, I've been reading and writing more. I spent a lot of time
worldbuilding (in other words, adding details to my world in an effort
to make it more convincing and compelling), and reaching a certain level
of satisfaction with the results (I won't say completion...I don't
think a worldbuilder's job is ever finished), I've moved back to writing
seriously. My current projects include a total rewrite of my earlier
Tornalia novel, The Dagger of Despair, which I'm planning to turn into a trilogy of Young Adult novels; a just-for-fun-and-practice novel called The Silver Lance; and several short stories, some set in Tornalia and others unrelated.
-Scott Livingston Beemer