I like knowing a little about the lives of my favorite authors. Stephen King plays rhythm guitar with a group of fellow beat-selling authors known as the Rock Bottom Remainders; Nevada Barr was born in Nevada, but was named for a character in one of her father’s favorite books; Rita Mae Brown is a feminist, activist, and accomplished equestrian.

In case you’re interested, here are ten things you didn’t know about me:

1. I am a former elementary school spelling bee champion.

2. I was named the Outstanding Student In A Foreign Language when I attended Ferrum College in 1968-1969.

3. I married my high school sweetheart. This August will mark our 44th anniversary.

4. I was the starting shortstop on the College of William & Mary baseball team that won the northern division of the Southern Conference championship in 1968.

5. I got 2 base hits in the championship game against Vince Colbert of East Carolina. Colbert pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1970-1972.

6. I have run 9 marathons, 6 of them in under 3 hours.

7. I share the same birthday as the comedian/actor Kevin James and the great Carol Burnett. That’s about all we have in common.

8. I love classic rock, southern rock, Carolina beach music, R&B, and Motown and Memphis soul music. I loathe classical music.

9. I enjoy action-adventure, mystery, suspense, family sagas, and crime fiction novels. I think F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack is one of the greatest characters ever written.

10. I am a descendant of Brigadier General Elisha Franklin Paxton. On November 1, 1862, my ancestor was named commander of the Stonewall Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, CSA. He was killed 6 months later at Chancellorsville.