I’ve lived in the Midwest most of my life, which means I’m friendly and polite. I’m the type of person who thanks the doorman for opening the door, or the server who pours water in my glass. My door always gets opened with a smile and my water glass never seems to run dry.
I'm in my 50s now. 50 is not the new 20, or 30… I’m older now, and embrace it on most days. I’ve worked hard to get here and have experienced a few things. In 1992 I received a BA degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I ran my first marathon in high school and second in college, climbed several 14,000-foot mountains, and marched in Thee University of Wisconsin Marching Band. Honestly, marching in the band was more challenging than all of that other stuff.
I’ve worked in sales, management, retail, video and film production, and IT, which makes it sound like I can’t hold down a job or decide what I want to do when I grow up. It’s neither – all of it feeds my writing.
In 1993 I married my patient and lovely wife, Angie. We’re proud parents of two great kids. Our daughter followed in my footsteps and works in IT. Our son graduated from Columbia Law and is a lawyer in New York. I love them both dearly, and love that they moved out.
I’m a self-published author of a five-book fantasy series about a short, overweight middle-aged man who wants to be a knight in shining armor. Despite what my wife says, it’s not an autobiography. I don’t own a giant magical sword like my hero, Angst. My newest book is a LitRPG fantasy novel that isn’t autobiographical at all – I think that’s why readers like it.
I joke with friends about being a famous author. I’m not, but I’m proud to say my books have touched lives. One reader sent me a hand-written letter thanking me for Angst. A soldier brought printed copies of the entire Angst series to Afghanistan. I wrote a book about growing up and dealing with bullies, and a local school made it required reading for their 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes. Writing hasn’t been a living, but it’s been an experience.
I’m a “glass is half-full” kind of person, even though the Universe is conspiring against me. I often tease others and say, “what could possibly go wrong?” In my experience – everything.
In 2017, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This was not the brain disease I was hoping for. It sucks so try to avoid it. If you stick with me, you’ll hear the occasional joke about tremors. “Is that an Earthquake? Oh, wait, it’s me.” “No need to put a quarter in the bed, I’ve got this.” I encourage my friends to crack Parkinson’s jokes. I need the laugh. The alternative is unbearable. You have my permission to tease me about it, too, but only me. Others with Parkinson’s may not appreciate it. This thing is rough.
I work too hard, and spread myself a little too thin, but have the most amazing group of family and friends to support me through my lofty goals. Despite being 50-ish, I haven’t given up on my dreams nor have I stopped having fun. If you think about it, I’m really only halfway to the end, so I’m just getting started.
David J. Pedersen is the author of seven novels including the bestselling Angst series of fantasy novels, critically acclaimed Clod Makes A Friend, and LitRPG fantasy Entriss Online.