Brian EamesI was always a writer. I still have my first book, composed entirely in crayon. It features my dog Spook, a weimaraner who stood as tall as a horse and possessed the intelligence of processed cheese. I don’t know why I chose to write about Spook. He did little to ingratiate himself to our family. Once he plucked the dinner steak my father had just grilled off the kitchen counter, wolfing it down whole before anyone could protest. When we left him too long alone in the house, Spook would nose his way into the bathroom trash. We’d come home to find the hallways strewn with tissue paper, dental floss, and Q-tips. I guess I loved him anyway.

My favorite writing project as a kid was one I undertook with my great-grandfather Bamp Bill. He was something of a writer himself, and he and I began a detective novel when I was 10, wherein I would write one chapter, and he would write the next. I sorely wish I had kept it up for longer, but I still have every chapter we wrote together.

Mostly I grew up in Rome, New York, a small town. We lived near the shores of a reservoir lake and umpteen acres of unclaimed woods. When I was in elementary school, my pals and I secreted away hatchets from our garages and worked diligently at building a log house deep in those woods at the edge of the lake. I remember hacking away for hours at the trunk of a huge pine tree. When it finally gave way, the slow-motion arc of descent was utterly thrilling. Dangerous? Stupid, even? Certainly, but what did we know? Man, it was fun.

When I am not writing, I am a teacher of 5th and 6th grade students at the Paideia School in Atlanta. While digressing from a math lesson, I regale them with tales of the evil Ms. Voorhees who taught me in 4th grade, and the daunting yet gallant Mr. Grande, my 5th grade teacher. Spook comes up sometimes, too.

Did I not mention the family? My wonderful wife Jesica and I have three kids–all sons. That might sound like some sort of biblical curse, but it is actually buckets of fun.

We do not, however, have a weimaraner.