I’m originally from sunny Sarasota, FL, but graduated from high school in Quincy, FL, by way of East Cleveland, OH. After graduating from high school, I did a brief stint at Alabama State University on a volleyball scholarship, but later transferred to Florida State University, where I graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. In my last semester at FSU I took a writing class as an elective. The professor suggested I change my major to English or literary something or other, but that wasn’t going to happen—last semester before graduation? I don’t think so. I was flattered that a professor thought I had potential as a writer, but it was only something I did to get me through the tough moments in life.

My fascination with writing began when I was 16 years old, after my family relocated from the suburbs of Cleveland, OH, to the rural area of Robertsville, outside of the town of Quincy, FL. Letters to my friends, which I had known since 2nd grade, back in East Cleveland, OH, became my lifeline. As a result of being uprooted from everything familiar to me, I began to journal and write poetry. By the time I was 19 years old I had over 20 journals and hundreds of poems. One of the most devastating times in my life, other than the move, was when I was 28 yrs old. After I got married and realized I had somehow thrown away my journals and most of my poems during the move from Atlanta, GA, to Garland, TX (for years

I looked for those journals thinking, for sure, I had packed them away somewhere). I started journaling again, and sometime later also started writing poetry again. So I now have a bunch of journals and a good bit of poetry.

In 1998, after another move, and from boredom at work, and other life issues, I began to write a story. The story took me to a very happy place, and from that, and the encouragement of a very good friend, I gave birth to my debut novel, Every Time I Close My Eyes. Even though it was well-liked by readers and used as a chapter book by one of the Georgia school systems, the experience became a literary nightmare, and the writing wasn’t up to par (I now know EDITORS are a writer’s friend). I’ll leave it at that. So, for the last few years I’ve taken the time off to learn the technical aspects of writing, as well as much as I could about the literary field itself. It’s been fun, but more than that, “I think I’m really a writer now.” I wasn’t quite convinced of that before.

So, by day I’m a judicial assistant for a DeKalb County State Court Judge and by night I’m a writer/ copy editor. Since January 2003, I’ve revised my debut novel, Every Time I Close My Eyes, and I’ve written four more stories: Daddy’s Big Girl, Yet to be Determined, Sold Sister, and Double Vision, the sequel to Every Time I Close My Eyes (which was a surprise to me; I had no idea there was going to be a sequel), and one of these days I’ll release a book of poetry titled Amongst Friends.

My hope is that, as you read you experience every feeling I experienced as I wrote each story. That’s my goal as a writer: to make you laugh, cry, get upset, talk out loud to yourself—experience the story interactively and personally as you read. I guess I’m about to find out if I’ve met my goal. Thank you, and enjoy!T.R. Baker

Simply T.R. Baker