In a previous career, I was a magazine journalist specializing in stranger-than-fiction stories. The first one I ever published was about Italian Star Wars movies. I published feature articles about subjects like the South Korean movie director who was kidnapped by Kim Jong-Un’s dad and forced to make a monster film.
Lately I have been more into creative writing, interactive fiction and writing some scripts.
My book about a weird cult
So in 2004 when I was a struggling freelance journalist/blogger in San Francisco, I made the front page of the New York Times and “The Daily Show” after blogging about members of the U.S. Congress who were filmed participating in a bizarre coronation ceremony at the Dirksen Senate Office Building honoring a cult leader. Here’s a short film I made about it.
That scoop led over the next few years to writing a whole book exploring the strange story of how the right-wing Washington Times newspaper came to be published by a 1970s cult leader known for mass weddings. The book, with its Creedence Clearwater Revival-inspired doomy title that the publisher chose, has been cited in places like the New Republic. There are parts of the book I really like, but I did sort of bite off more than I could chew and it coulda been structured better. If there’s one thing I’m proudest of from this whole episode, it’s that my blog helped a few young people find their way out of this abusive group.
In 2016, I was co-writer (with my dad) of Kearny’s Dragoons Out West, a book of American military history.