Hi. I'm Berin Stephens and I'm a writer . . . and I'm hopelessly addicted to it. I'm also a music performer and teacher, which I'm addicted to as well. I teach saxophone and clarinet lessons for a living, as well as teaching the saxophone students at Utah Valley University. I'm also involved in several music groups in Utah and Salt Lake counties.
My journey through life began in Alaska (and no, Alaska is not cold, it's just that everywhere else is too dang hot). I had three great loves while growing up: reading, running, and saxophone.
Of course, my love of reading evolved into a desire to write. When I was in seventh grade, I switched over from reading the Hardy Boys to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Those books fired my imagination and made me want to write books just like that. From then on, I consumed every fantasy and science fiction book I could find. I wanted to go to exciting new worlds so I created my own and started writing about them.
Unfortunately, as I grew older, life took over. I tried to write while in college but my major, music, was very time consuming. I often played my saxophone from 7 to 8 hours a day and with the added load of classes I had little time left to write. After college, it was then time to get a job in order to support my growing family. My writing life vanished.
It wasn't until seven years ago that I took it back up again. Once I got into it, I was hooked. Several times, I resolved that I would stop writing and focus more on other things, like my music career, but then I'd get up the next morning and start writing again.
I now have three published works. The Dragon War Relic came out in 2009. It's a young adult sci-fi/fantasy/comedy about a boy who is given a mysterious ring and when he puts it on he summons an ogre from outer space. In February of this year, my second book came out called Time Gangsters. It is a middle grade urban fantasy about two kids who find magical Egyptian coins buried in their bedroom walls and then gangsters from 1927 travel through time to steal them back. Starting in May, my sci-fi quasi-romantic comedy began to be released one episode at time on BigWorldNetwork.com called Delroy Versus the Yshtari. I also have several short stories out, one of them being The Princess and the Privy which is out for free on Smashwords and is the start of my Myrick the (not so) Magnificent series. To find out more about me and my works, you can visit my website, berinstephens.com.
I'm looking forward to this run on Saturday. For one, I enjoy getting out with other people who love to read and write books. It's also getting me off my bum and running again. I've been trying to motivate myself to get back outside and run, but instead I usually just stay indoors on my exercise bike. I am recovering from a couple of foot injuries so I probably won't be able to do the 5K, but still, I'm excited about getting out again. I hope this will keep me running for the rest of the summer. I won't get on my soapbox here, but health and fitness are very important to me and I feel that my ability to write is directly linked to the quality of my health.
It will be great to see all of you on Saturday. I'll be the one limping around the track.
Berin is donating a copy of Time Gangsters to the Saratoga Springs Library. Come check it out!