Ryck Neube: an autobiography

First allow me to answer THE question. R. Neube is not a nom de plume joke. I am not "Our New-bie." Okay, I spell Ryck funny. So sue me. Mom named me after Ricky Nelson, of all people, and he had a 'Y' in his. My clan pronounces our surname Nube, rhymes with tube. If you need an adjective for me, neubian works.

I was born in Kentucky in 1953, and raised in a small town that shall remain nameless because if it ever gets nuked, I'll get blamed. A college dropout, I have sold auto parts, worked for the IRS, and been a farm worker, in addition to some sleazy etceteras.

My writing started in high school after discovering it impressed women. My brain still aches at the thought of the retched and wretched love poetry I scrawled. As a history major at the University of Kentucky, I blew off freshman comp via the creative writing alternative. English classes had zilch effect on me as a writer.

I do owe a lot to Professor Chambliss, my mentor in the history department. Every time I overslept one of his classes, he expected a five page paper on the topic du jour. Since I missed virtually every eight o'clock class in my years at UK, I wrote a lot of papers. Discovered I could write a five pager faster than most folks could forge an excuse slip. My bad attitude leaked into the text of my papers, teaching me that if you could entertain a professor, ye ole grade point average soared like an eagle.

This led me to my first paying job as a writer: ghost-writing term papers for a service. It sucked, but it paid well.

For the longest time I waited for the muse, being content to write my fiction at its benighted behest. I'd turn out a story or two a year and preen like James Joyce at closing time. On 24 August 1979, I decided to write a minimum of forty hours a week, every week. Even when I was employed by the government to earn mortgage money, I kept to that schedule. Fairly easy, truth be known. All you have to do is cancel the rest of your life.

In those early, solitary years of being self-unemployed, I made every mistake a writer can, except quit. My filing cabinet filled with experiments and learning experiences that I am grateful no one will see. My stories gave slush pile fiction a bad name. However, I endured and learned.

The primary advantage I have as a writer is LC, my wife, who hates housework with such a passion that she's willing to support me while I write...and do the housework. Our cats, all by their lonesome, give me plenty of cleaning and the occasional story.

For the past decade, I have been a member of the Cincinnati Writers Project, serving as the most inept vice president ever for a few years. I owe much to the fiction critique group, which is an omnigenre outfit. I believe it is important for a SFF writer to cross-pollinate with genres outside our own. The group taught me a great deal about how people read, a shock since I thought everyone read like I did.

My turn-ons are goetta, THE SIMPSONS, reading in the bath tub, watching barge traffic on the Ohio River, and occasionally mooning folks. I can't move to Mars until they get cable TV.

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Text copyright © 2012 by R. Neube.

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