Dan earned a living by doing minor league journalism, technical writing and finally computer programming. But he had been called Dan by his very young parents after a character in a science fiction novel and that bit of predestination stuck.
At seven he decided to be an artist and settled on painting. Two or three weeks into that he realized he didn’t draw very well and he switched to literature.
In middle school he encountered his first serious library and discovered H. G. Wells.
A few years later a pair of chortling school pals found a copy of Skin and Bones on the shelves of a local thrift store and stuck it in his locker – a comment on his physique.
Dan read the Thorne Smith novel and found the second of his science fiction heroes.
An interesting and challenging pair to emulate, H. G. Wells and Thorne Smith. War of the Worlds meets Topper.
And then in high school Dan’s still young parents were having drinks with friends before going out to dinner. He was in the kitchen, mulling over a typewriter. A woman in her middle thirties, looking for the bathroom, stumbled across him and asked what he was doing. He explained.
“I started out to be a writer,” she said. After a pause she added, “Never quit.”
The regret and poignancy in her voice was such that he never did.