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About J.R.

I've been a self-employed entrepreneur most of my life; off and on at first, then eventually full-time. Of course, even self-employed folks will occasionally take on a regular job again, if the pay's good enough, and/or the job sufficiently intriguing. When I've done that, I've often worked as computer consultant or researcher-- and once as a corporate IT chief.

(Although I have engineering training, I've always seemed to end up fiddling with computers, rather than doing all that much engineering)

I've undertaken a variety of work roles while self-employed, especially in my early, experimental days. These ranged from tax preparer to sign-maker; automotive electrical repair to exotic weapons dealer; computer programmer to T-shirt airbrusher; and others.

In more recent years I've made my living almost exclusively online, with my writing and artwork. Much of the content found in my books originally appeared on my web site.


I grew up in rural Tennessee. Specifically, in a place infamous for its crime, corruption, and other extremes in behavior.

But just because a place has that reputation doesn't mean all its residents fit the description.

My own parents were hard-working folks, and honest and generous to a fault (despite never having much money); as have been most of the other folks I ever personally knew in my hometown. Basically my family lived paycheck to paycheck the whole time, but somehow my parents managed to keep us six kids (yeah, that's no typo) housed and fed and reasonably safe and happy, growing up.

The general childhood environment I remember best was a small home, surrounded by considerable forest acreage. We weren't all that far from town, but for a young boy, it was like having your own huge and private jungle playground. I was often about as comfortable in those woods as in my own bed at home.


My dad was a master of troubleshooting, repair, and improvisation, and added immeasurably to my family's material wealth by his ability to fix just about anything that was broken, as well as figure out ingenious ways to turn junk or trash into treasure. He did the latter largely by learning how to repair discarded power tools and electric motors, and adapt various devices to new roles they weren't originally designed for. He also had a green thumb, and during much of my youth maintained a large vegetable garden which helped to keep his large family fed.

Dad also loved science and science fiction, despite (like many of his generation in the region) having little formal education. He and I often watched the Twilight Zone and other early sci fi and fantasy shows and films together, when I was a kid.

My mom did everything she could to instill a love of books and reading and education into all of us-- even going so far as to spring for a set of World Book Encyclopedias for us, when I was in perhaps the second or third grade. I think she also helped me buy books through Scholastic catalogs at school on occasion.

Like many of her time and place, mom didn't finish high school. But she made sure to get her G.E.D. later. As well as obtain still more education and training of various sorts, some through the mail, some at various business schools and such in the region. All this was tough to do while giving birth to and raising six kids, as well as usually holding down a full-time job too; but she did it. Her determination to continue her education must have rubbed off on us kids, as many of us too would get as much extra education and training as we could along the way.

You might say that where dad would more often use logic and experience and experimentation to solve problems, mom would more frequently use news, books, documentation, and organization to seek solutions. So I ended up relatively well-versed in both methods.

I've had several best friends over the years, but the first that always comes to mind is the one I call "Steve" in my books. Steve was my own personal adventure guru, and I'm sure I'd have had a much less interesting and enjoyable life if I'd never known him. Steve really did become a globe-trotting corporate executive as described in my stories, and on occasion I do join him for another adventure, just as mentioned in A Shock to the System.

Copyright © 2011 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved. Site map