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I am a graphic artist by trade and have worked as an art director for several advertising agencies, a senior technical illustrator for DOE and for 20 years as a 3d artist and animator in the game industry. I live in the little town of Oakdale, California on the edge of the San Joaquin Valley at the base of the foothills on the way up to Yosemite with my beautiful wife Nadine.


I started by writing comedy sketches, parodies and science fiction short stories. I collected comic books and wanted to publish my own stories. So, I wrote the script for a graphic novel and tried to illustrate as much of the storyline as I had time to, but working full-time as a technical illustrator and commuting limited those efforts. With the advent of the desktop computer and digital artwork, I shifted from traditional illustration to 3d modeling and animation. The idea of creating a graphic novel soon faded with the shiny new technology at hand.


I change career paths and moved into the game industry. I had the opportunity to occasionally write, creating technical manuals, game designs and scripts for the in-game cinematics. Several of my story ideas were converted into game concepts. For the most part I worked on games like the Sims, a few sports titles and finally for an infamous maker of social media games. That experience ended my desire to work in the game industry forever. Hopefully the mental scars will heal.Ron Collins


At one point during my tenure in the game industry, I stumbled into the old west, becoming involved in the sport of single action shooting and reenactment. I bought all the gear, designed my own gun leather and ended up selling my own brand, IronGrizzly, for nearly a decade. I wrote western vignettes as part of the product description and all the advertising copy. It was fun, but it was a lot of extra work. The photo of me was taken in Virginia City at the grand reopening of the Washoe Club. I stomped around the old mining town every chance I had. Staying in haunted hotels and posing for pictures with tourists as a reenactor. I liked the old west so much, that I converted the characters and story concepts that I had written as traditional space operas to tall tales of the western frontier. I wrote detailed technical papers explaining the history and relevant events of the world represented in the stories. Now the only question was what to do with them.


Working on the computer creating 3d art and building out high quality gun leather in my copious free time, basically eliminated any chance of illustrating the stories by hand. I don’t think I would ever be proficient again as an illustrator. Writing a screenplay was nothing more than an experiment, so I needed a creative outlet to tell the stories that I had conjured up. That's when someone suggested that I should write a novel. I liked the idea. It was straight forward and to the point. It was the logical alternative to trying to draw again and not being happy with the results.


Now the trick will be to find a marketable voice and become a better proofreader. Thankfully there are tools like TextAloud and Ginger to help artists like me to make the transition to words. Thanks for dropping by.



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