Author Hunt, JasonJason Hunt

When I was first learning to read, my father challenged me to write a story. I sat down with a pencil and paper and wrote "The Three Little Fishermen," a thrilling nautical tale, generously illustrated to compensate for my 20-word vocabulary. I showed it to my father, who was so delighted that he paid me a quarter for it. An entrpreneurial light bulb went off, and I began pumping out stories at twenty-five cents a pop.

Fast forward to high school. I was working for a neighbor, helping him to clean out his basement. I was moving old crates and cardboard boxes when I spotted it buried beneath a blanket of cobwebs: a battered old acoustic guitar. I asked my neighbor what he wanted to do with it. He said, "Throw it away." I asked him if I could keep it, and he said, "I don't care what you do with it," so I tucked it under my arm and started off down the street toward my house. Another neighbor was driving by, and when she saw me, she pulled over and rolled down her window. She said, "Did you hear the news? Elvis Presley just died."

From that point on, my focus began a slow, but steady shift from fiction to rock'n'roll.

I went to Cornell University, where I was fortunate to study writing with William Kennedy, the Pultizer-prize-winning author of "Ironweed." But even then, I found myself spending more and more time with the guitar. I was in some amazing bands, including Bacchvs and The Dogs, and I was writing lots of songs and playing them in bars and coffee houses around Ithaca. Once I graduated, I threw my guitar in the trunk of my '75 Plymouth Valiant and drove to Nashville to write country music. I got there the same day as Garth Brooks, and we both played the same clubs waiting for our big breaks. Garth got his. Me, all I got was a pair of cowboy boots I bought from Garth. They were nice boots, that's for sure.

Then came love, marriage, kids and the need to get a day job. I went back to school and got a masters in English. With that, I was able to divide my time between teaching writing at the university level and writing corporate stuff for companies like General Motors and Deloitte. I am currently a communications manager at one of the leading biotechnology companies. Somewhere along the way, I started writing fiction again. My first story was called "Bluegrass and Blackmail" and featured Deke Rivers, a Nashville songwriter turned detective. I continued to write stories and was published in magazines and ezines like Hardboiled, Pulp Pusher, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, A Twist of Noir and Yellow Mama. I wrote two detective novels -- "Cold, Cold Heart" and "So Lonesome I Could Die" -- both of which were Deke Rivers novels.

A Midsummer Night's Gunfight
Kyle William Lees saw his father and brother murdered by Confederate marauders...[read more]