How Did Magic Reveal My Secret Passion for Great Storytelling?

I’ve loved secrets since I was a child. Knowing them. Keeping them. Discovering them.

Like many children, I also loved magic. Especially, the awe, wonder, and surprise that hit me when the trick was done. To a lonely boy in desperate need of attention, with few friends, who felt brilliant, but only heard he was a bad student who couldn’t pay attention or sit still, I thought magic might get me what I wanted: people who were fascinated by something I could do with secrets and the power of manipulating them for their good entertainment and joy.

So in about 4th grade, I began to study how magic tricks and sleight-of-hand were accomplished. Pretty quickly, I realized I didn’t much care about the specific steps to achieve the big reveal. What I craved to understand was how the theories were applied more than how to palm a coin or shuffle cards.

What’s a young boy to do when he wants to employ the magnetic pull of withholding information, suggest one thing while implying something else, use subtleties, enrapture an audience with sweeping hand movements like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but he doesn’t want to do traditional magic tricks?

He becomes a fiction writer, a ghostwriter, a storyteller, a word magician.

(photo by

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