Born in Kansas, The Sunflower State
Born in the historic Wild West town of Dodge City, KS to a schoolteacher mother (3rd/4th grade) and a father who worked as a brakeman for the Santa Fe Railroad.
Obtained first library card at the Dodge City Public Library - my life changes forever as there is no limit on how many books you can check out at one time.
First taste of publishing success when a poem I wrote is published in the Dodge City School District (443) newsletter. Starting with the letter A, each new stanza begins with the next letter in the alphabet - mention Private idaho
Realized you could wear glasses and still be an athlete. Took 2nd Place in a bowling tournament as part of the team HOT DOG II - other sporting interests at the time included speed skating at "", backyard basketball on 8th street and skateboarding (Santa Cruz, Corey O'Brien).
Joined staff of my high school newspaper at the bottom of the barrel, and worked my way up to feature editor by my senior year (94-95). Realized if you take someone's else's idea, in this case Dave Letterman's Top Ten, and applied it locally to your high school people will laugh.
Hired on as a copy editor/typist at my local newspaper, The Dodge City Daily Globe and it's Spanish subsidary "" - this is where I fell in love with the nuisances of life - obituaries, grain prices, wedding/birth announcements, letters to the editor, and horoscopes. Drudging for a local newspaper made me realize I was horrible at telling the truth in my writing.
Begged and convinced a Dodge City radio station manager to give me 3-hour Saturday night radio slot with a typing monkey as a co-host. Played Daft Punk to SKA! in between performing comedy sketches on air. There were dozens of complaints, one death threat, free pizza and the best dedicatedfan base any DJ could ask for. I learned you could use a rotating desk fan to create the sound of an airplane motor.
Moved to Lawrence, Kansas to attend the University of Kansas. In Lawrence I discovered/re-discovered the writers that set me on the right course - John Fante, James Thurber, Garrison Keillor, and Mark Twain. I majored in film but realized when it was too late that I wanted to be a writer.
Fresh out of college, I was snatched up by Allen Press, which is publishing house in Lawrence, Kansas. I worked in their recently blossomed online publishing division, and fell in love again with a new nuiance of life - science and medicine, which Allen Press specialized in. Helped launch the website I've been the most proud of, PLOS (Public Library of Science).
Wrote, directed, and edited a feature length film, Tonight We Murder, starring all local actors in Lawrence, KS. A true learning experience.
Thanks to the website Friendster (blush), I met a group of fantastic people who would change my entire outlook on life - local poets, southern enthusiasts, and pen pal extraordinares. Thanks to them I discovered new writers (esp. Charles Portis/Lewis Nordon), new films, new ideas and the confidence to be myself.
Moved to Chicago and was again snatched up - this time by Playboy Enterprises in their recently blossomed mobile department.
Wrote the first draft of what would become my novel, Bennington: The Silly Fate of Josey Certain (the working title at the time was WE THREE DRY HUMPS). Had I known it would take ten years to complete I would have typed faster.
First trip to Europe - London and Paris. I was sick the entire time in London, but back in love by Paris. This trip reaffirmed I'm an anglophile by nature.
Second trip to Europe, and the best vacation of my life. My girlfriend, now wife, at the time traveled with me to Finland, Sweden and the magical Aland islands, the latter being where we bicycled/camped the archipelago.
My father, Peter "James" Gunn passes away at the age of 67. Rest in Peace. "Until Forever" is written on his headstone and sums up the life of an endless wonderer and inspiring enthusiast.
I married the love of my life, the woman of my dreams, and the person who has always believed in me since we met.
My first son, Elliott is born in the summer, with the greatest moment in my life sadly shadowed only a few months later when I'm diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. I beat the bastard, but it takes months to recover. The goods news is that I fall in love with being a stay-at-home Dad.
Moved to sunny, and lovely Burbank, California, which is right over the hills of Griffith Park from the city of Los Angeles.
Snatched up again for work, this time at the Center for Digital Humanities at UCLA. There is a 8-story library within a minute of my office and I feel four-years-old all over again.
My second son is born, Peter Gunn, is born, who is named after my father.