Most folks simply pass through history. But it’s the destiny of a select few to alter its course. Myth and legend often surround these larger than life individuals, until their origins are but grains of truth in a larger odyssey.
J. D. Wiley came clawing into the world late enough to dodge the Mount St. Helens eruption, but early enough to grow up hearing tales of the near apocalypse. One of his first memories harks back to a rickety milk-crate-of-a-house in Nowhere-ville, Montana. He spent his days digging holes in the patch of dirt they called a back yard, looking for arrowheads, dinosaur bones, and secret tunnels to China.
Two out of three ain’t bad.
From there, he learned the gooey joys of government cheese, and earned his stripes in the pitted streets of Kansas City one shiner at a time. He survived schoolyard bullies, gangland drive-bys, and an endless horde of mutant cockroaches. All while hustling Mortal Kombat sketches for lunch money.
In dusty Colorado he underwent a blistering regimen in Okinawan martial arts—what his Renshi affectionately referred to as “the old style”. When he wasn’t engaged in friendly pugilism, he was drawing super heroes on the back of his homework. He’d just started penning a weekly comic—Lunchbox Heroes—for the school paper, when the events of Columbine rocked his world less than 50 miles away.
His misadventures only gained momentum as he struck out to travel the length and breadth of the continent. He ducked the Beltway Sniper while buying jerky in a Maryland gas station, watched in awe as a crack-head stole a big rig semi in Missouri, survived dog-tacos in Tijuana, and weathered an earthquake atop a four story building in Southern California.
Then he turned 21.
Might be the experience that makes the man. Might be something else. But smashing into the anvil of life always seems to have a way of forging you into something stronger. Something legendary… Also explains where the Wileys get all their anvil-shaped scars.
No mystery that J. D.’s idea of normal had always been a bit skewed. That’s what happens when you grow up huddled around a wood-burning stove listening to the lunatic stories of your dad and half-crazed uncles. Five men so tough they grew up running barefoot down gravel roads. So hand-to-mouth poor that Squirrel au Gratin was at the top of the menu. And so humble they brag about it to this day.
To hear them tell it, you might get the notion that anyone short of Clint Eastwood was sissified. Phrases like, “that’s the Wiley blood in you,” were thrown around like badges of honor. It builds a different breed of human. One that ain’t afraid to venture out into the unknown, grab life by the short and curlies, and wrestle it into submission.
Everyone imagines their own kind of heaven. If they work hard enough, and don’t quit, they might just taste a slice of it while they yet breathe.
J. D. got his first taste when he was hypnotized by, and wedlocked to, a local Goddess of Chaos, whose name cannot be uttered in the common tongue. Together they started raising a battalion of pint-sized Wileys, and he finally started carving out his own little sliver of paradise. Sadly, over the years, Earth’s puny gravity, toxic atmosphere, and ready supply of ultra soft toilet paper reduced him to a flimsy shadow of his former glory.
Sure, he’d taught himself to program in QBasic by age twelve. Sure, he’d received a certificate in astrophysics from the University of Tokyo. Hell, he’d even sweet talked a Greek, a Jew, and a Native American into wearing kilts in his wedding. But this was not to be the pinnacle of his achievements.
Inspired by the myths and legends from the family archives, childhood comic books, and a healthy dose of 80’s flicks, Wiley now sets out to make his mark on the world. They say you should write what you know. And what he knows are tales of high adventure chock full of bloody knees, tomfoolery, and dirty jokes.
Currently Wiley is a freelance artist, philosopher, and warrior-for-hire locked in a bloody and merciless battle with Microsoft Word. When he isn’t in the trenches of his first novel, he carves out short stories on the side, gearing up to take the world by storm.