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Bertram Allan Mullin aka BAM

Bertram Allan Mullin

My grandmother spoke several languages. She was learning Chinese at eighty-nine years of age. It was no surprise my mother would be inspired to follow suit. She pushed this ideology onto my siblings and me. For this reason, I was probably one of the few kids born in Texas whose first language was Hebrew. Negative repercussion: I couldn’t exactly read or write in English until I taught myself how to around the fourth grade.

That’s how I grew a passion for books. Think I had read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird” three times in one month. I moved onto larger texts that were available at my house such as “Q is for Quantum” and “Moby Dick.” I even read through most of that thick tome by Henry Gray called “Gray’s Anatomy.” Then I met works of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and the like.

Edgar Allan Poe stuck out due to our commonalities. We share the same birthday, the same middle name by chance, and my given name, Bertram, is Germanic for bright famous raven. Plus, I’ve lived a rather tormented life.

Stories brought me to happier places. Reading was the best way to learn English, too. I’d also tell tales to my peers in elementary school. Teachers loved my creativity and suggested I write.

One time I was writing next to a friend who played in a band. Without asking, the friend used my scribble as a song. His band performed it on stage to win a contest. I realized if someone was going to steal my writing, it was good enough to share with the world. Only nothing I wrote had structure. I put writing off until I was nineteen.

This started with a car crash. The airbags deployed and knocked me out. I had a dream about the Devil taking my soul. A shadowy woman spun, kicked Big Red, and scared him away. I wrote about the dream later, more so the kickass martial artist who saved me. She was my dream girl one second and then a main character in what became several structured novels.

After trying to get those books published for years, I realized I knew nothing about grammar and usage. People would read my stories and remember them, sure. However, a typo could turn off a reader completely, particularly agents and publishers.

One agent’s assistant had emailed me about the first draft of a novel. She wrote that my book was original and fun. She added, I clearly hadn’t gone to college and needed to learn more about writing. I took her advice to heart: Graduated with honors from the University of Houston’s creative writing program in 2013. Soon after, my short stories and poems were being accepted, featured, and awarded by journals, magazines, and anthologies.

In 2014, I realized the saga with my dream girl needed inspiration. The main character was Japanese. A friend who read the series suggested I move to Japan, so I did the next year. The first fantasy novel, “Demon Blade Bearer,” is now on draft number twenty and has definitely improved since I’ve lived in Nagoya, where I teach English. After getting the first novel of my fantasy series edited, I’ll focus on traditional publication for my books.

I don't just live life, I experience it, which helps to create the best kinds of stories. Today, I can say without a doubt this is because the tsunami that was my mother taught me: The world's at my fingertips.