I was raised on a 350-year-old farm at the end of a long lane by a river in southern Virginia. With no kids my age around for miles, the only sources of entertainment were books, movies, and my imagination. (It was far enough from town that no cable company would even install a line out to the house. They still haven’t.) I would run outdoors and spend hours acting out my own fantasy stories—it’s a lot of work fighting dragons if you’re the knight and the dragon—and in elementary school I began writing some of them down. Though I never finished a single one, I continued to scribble ideas for made-up worlds any spare minute I had.
Then, in high school, an idea for a new narrative began to grow in me. It all centered around a supernatural being I’d dreamed up: a demon that lived inside a person, and although it endowed him with incredible powers, it demanded that he consume human souls to survive. I decided to call this creature a bellirolt—and then wondered what would happen if one particular bellirolt never wanted this power, and tried to use it for good. He began to take shape in my mind as a centuries-old nobleman, from a faraway, worn-torn land… and given my love of tales from the British Isles, he became a Scottish baron.
With this Baron still in the back of my mind, I went on to study theater in college, where I also learned Italian and studied abroad in Florence. But it wasn’t until I graduated, and was trying to be a working actor in New Orleans, that I finally returned to that Scottish baron. My years of school had taken me to Scotland, England, Ireland, Italy—and in each new place I’d pictured the Baron, stepping for a moment out of the mists of time, pursuing his mysterious agenda. I knew it was now time to finish one of my stories. Immersing myself in Scottish history, I learned about the Druids, Celtic mythology, clan history, the Jacobites… and began to see the lineage of the bellirolt world take shape. This would be a distinct supernatural thread through Scottish history, and it would all be revealed to an introverted 13-year-old boy who—that’s right—was sure there was more to life than he could see in his small, isolated hometown.
That boy became Percival Dunbar, and I carried the growing novel of him and the Baron back to my family home in Virginia, where I found work studying and portraying Revolutionary War heroes at Colonial Williamsburg. Once I’d completed my first draft, I moved to Los Angeles and started editing it. As I was looking for a new job, I learned that a few college friends were finding success as audiobook narrators, and thought, “I could totally do that!” So I started auditioning, and landed my first narration gig in 2013. Slowly but surely, I built a career behind the mic.
I’ve now voiced over 300 audiobooks in almost every genre: from literary fiction to fantasy, YA, memoirs, business, romance, children’s books, and historical fiction. In my oodles of spare time, I was revising and honing the story that became The Tercentennial Baron. And in October 2017, I was finally able to publish the book independently.
Whether you’re here to learn more about The Tercentennial Baron, the world of The Bellirolt Chronicles, or my narrating work, I hope you enjoy what you find. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you’d like updates delivered right to your inbox, and don’t hesitate to say hi on social media.
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