Hi! I'm Stephen Merlino. I'm from Seattle, Washington, where I write, play, and teach high school. I live together with the world's most desirable woman, two fabulous children, one cat, and three chickens.
Growing up in Seattle had much to do with becoming a fantasy writer. Maybe the biggest reason for this is that it's a really rainy place most of the year, so I read a lot. It's a good reading climate.
But summers here are as fantastic as the rest of the year is a mildewed damp fest. I was lucky enough to spend those glorious mounths on the shores of Puget Sound, where imagination ran wild, building worlds in the sand, fighting orcs and wizards with driftwood swords, and otherwise dreaming up fantasy stories with friends.
At the University of Washington, I fell in love with Chaucer and Shakespeare and all things English. The closest I got to England, however, was The Unicorn Pub on University Way, which was actually run by a Scotsman named Angus. I spent a lot of time there reading, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," sampling British ales, and devouring Angus's steak and kidney pie (with real offal!).
I later backpacked through Britain, where I discovered gargoyles and a magnificent retrospective of Henry VIII's body development from childhood to old age, captured in a dozen suits of armor spanning his life. Each was a snapshot captured in steel of his exact body shape at the time. Let me tell you, he was a stud when he was young. As an old man, though...not pretty. Plus, he seemed to have developed what was either elephantiasis or an unhealthy infatuation with codpieces.
But I digress. I also discovered Stratford-upon-Avon there, which inspired me to return to England the following year to study Shakespeare and his times, at the University of Reading.
(I am now blessed to teach Shakespeare each year in high school. Also, by following Shakespeare's example as a plot thief, I built one of the subplots in THE JACK OF SOULS from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
- Seattle, Washington
- JoinedJanuary 24, 2014