There I am with one of the greatest dogs that every pranced around on planet Earth. (I’m the one on the right, and my friend is Lil’Bit).
I chose this picture for my bio page because animals and especially pets have been such an important part of my life (and show up frequently in my books). It started as a seven-year-old kid who wanted to be a small animal vet.
A few years later I became an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction as an eleven-year-old boy when my next-door neighbor, who was a children’s librarian, took pity on my single-parent mom (My eternal gratitude to you, Mrs. Crabtree). Bored out of my gourd with no one to play with but good ‘ol mom, I drove her crazy until Mrs. Crabtree brought home a stack of books she knew would hook a young boy and give my mom some relief. It worked. I’ve been hooked ever since. Somewhere along the line, I told myself that one day I’d do what I could to give back by writing and publishing my own speculative fiction.
But first I had to pursue my other childhood dream to become a small animal veterinarian which I did. Around the twelfth year in practice, I brought one of the first one thousand Macintoshes, placing the whole purchase on a new credit card. What can I say? The sales lady was cute and good at her job. By Monday morning with buyer’s remorse setting in, I started trying to figure out how I could pay off the credit card with this new fangled contraption sitting on my desk. It took me less than ten minutes playing with MacPaint to figure out I’d have to use the one other piece of software that ran on the Mac — MacWrite. Well, I’d told myself, for years I’ve wanted to try my hand at writing so this is a perfect time. I was lucky. I sold my first article about the importance of spaying your cat to a newsletter entitled Purrrr! Now, I was really hooked.
I started getting up at five in the morning to write for a couple hours before going to work in my vet practice and eventually decided to sell my practice to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer. I hired a business coach to help me make that happen. We had great success in building the practice so I could sell it ‘going out the top’ in my profession. In the process, I also fell in love with coaching. A year after selling my practice I was invited to join the my coach’s business so I added that to my dream combo career of writing, coaching, and public speaking.
When my wife and I had our first daughter, I decided to leave the coaching firm so I wouldn’t have to travel so much and so I could be a more active part of raising our child. I could also devote more time to writing. During that time I wrote for dozens of different national magazines including Entrepreneur, Better Homes and Garden, Omni, and Utne Reader. I also attended Clarion West in Seattle which re-ignited my desire to write more speculative fiction. But first my wife and I decided we needed to do our part to change the world by co-founding Life On Purpose Institute where I continued to write on one of my favorite subjects, living on purpose, while also coaching people to clarify their true purpose. In 2007, I wrote Life On Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life which was an award-winning finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational division of the Best Books Awards sponsored by USA News.
As I studied the emerging self-publishing trend, I realized that was how my entrepreneurial spirit could best be nurtured as I pursue my encore performance career as a writer of visionary fiction and nonfiction. And you could say that the rest is history, but for me it’s really more about the present and future.
Now I write my adult speculative fiction under the pen name of Orrin Jason Bradford,
and my nonfiction and MG/YA fiction as W. Bradford Swift. If you want to learn more about my adult fiction go here.
As for my MG/YA fiction, you may want to start with Dominion Over All (Book one of the Zak BatesEco-Adventure Series, especially if you’re an animal lover too.)