Who is Jeff Kirvin? Why should I care?
I'm an indie writer, tech geek and general comic relief. I might teach you something, I might tell you a cool story, or I might just make you laugh.
A little more, please.
I grew up in Houston, Texas, not entirely on purpose. My dad, a telephone repairman, got me interested in science and technology at an early age (his idol was Albert Einstein), and my mom taught me how to tell stories when I was still in preschool. By the time I was in elementary school, teachers would pull me out of class, take me upstairs to the older kids' classrooms, and I would ad lib fairy tales, complete with morals. I've been a storyteller (and a ham) ever since. And given my interest in SCIENCE, it was probably inevitable than I'd write science fiction.
What books have you written?
My first novel will remain in the mists of digital prehistory, and not linked to here. I sold it to Peanut Press when they were just starting up and needed original content. Eventually they'd sign deals with the big houses and be one of the first ebook retailers, bought out by Palm, then Overdrive, then Fictionwise, then Barnes & Noble. I was early to the party. I do that.
Early in 2011 I published Do Over!, a novella about a 20-something loser who gets the chance to go back in time and relive his senior year in high school. Only to find out that second chances come with a price.
A few months later, I published Revelation, the first book in the Between Heaven and Hell trilogy, itself the first of a trilogy of trilogies comprising the Unification Chronicles. (Yes, it's complicated and epic, and I blame that squarely on George Lucas for twisting my little storytelling mind at an impressionable age.) Revelation is the story of Daniel Cho, a paramedic and former trauma surgeon trying to disappear in Washington DC. One day Daniel sees the impossible: a man impaled on the steering column of his car get up and walk away. Trying to prove his sanity and his innocence (the car also happened to be carrying explosives, and the cops don't believe the driver just got up and walked away), Daniel plunges into a conspiracy older than recorded human history: a secret society of immortals is real, and the basis for our myths of angels and demons.
You said you were a tech geek.
Indeed I did and indeed I am. I wrote my first novel longhand in a paper day planner as I was going from appointment to appointment, outprocessing from the Air Force in 1996. To get it into digital form, I later typed all those handwritten pages into my computer. After 80,000 words of that, I thought there had to be a better way. A way to write digitally, but anytime, anywhere.
I found what I was looking for in the original Palm Pilot. I started a web site in 1999 (they were not then called "blogs") called "Writing On Your Palm" to document what I learned about writing with PDAs. Over the years I became recognized as a mobile tech pundit, hosted the 1SRC.com podcast and was a part of Microsoft's Mobius group of tech influencers. I even interviewed to be the Director of Competitive Analysis for PalmSource.
These days, I'm playing with an iPhone and iPad, still trying to find the best ways to write on the go. But I'm also keenly aware that this is a means to an end. My primary focus is fiction (most of the time).
So what's this "distant chipmunk" business?
When I was a kid, as geeks do, I got into Pink Floyd in a big way. But as is often the case with rock and roll, I didn't always hear the lyrics quite right. In this case, I misheard the line from "Comfortably Numb", "A distant ship's smoke on the horizon" as "A distant chipmunk on the horizon". I always loved that mental image, even after finding out what the lyrics actually were. I imagined a grassy hill at sunset, off in the distance. You can just barely make out the silhouette of a chipmunk sitting placidly on the top of the hill, waving. It just stuck with me. Maybe because it's a neat symbol for how I see myself: vaguely ridiculous, friendly, but apart. A distant chipmunk on the horizon.