The Short Version:
Born: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada 1981
Lives: Eastleigh, Hampshire, United Kingdom (since April 2009, and is a dual-citizenship holder)
Has an amazing wife, two boys, a dog and some fish.
Is also a lecturer of Mathematics at Chichester College, Chichester, UK.
Holds three bachelor degrees (mainly because I’m indecisive and might be a polymath) in (B. Sc) Mathematics, (B.Ed) Education, and (B. Arts) Human Geography. All from the University of Saskatchewan.
Writes stories because I love to escape and I’ve found being the creator of your own worlds is even better than escaping into other peoples.
The Significantly Longer Version (there is quite difference here so be prepared):
C.D. Espeseth is my pen name (for Collin Espeseth, one of my middle names is Dean) and I am an indie self-published author as of Feb 23rd, 2017.
I currently live in Eastleigh, Hampshire, the UK with my amazing wife Claire, two boys, our dog and some fish.
I’ve done quite a bit of travelling in my early life, growing up and living with my two brothers and sister in the Qu’Appelle Valley at Pelican Shores (used to be called Espeseth Cove) in Saskatchewan, Canada. I went to primary school in Tantallon, junior school in Stockholm, and then we later moved away from the valley to a town called Esterhazy where I went to high school.
Growing up in small towns in Saskatchewan you had to learn to fit in, and my Dad made sure I had an active sports life which helped me fit in and survive in Saskatchewan as deep down I am an introvert, though I hide it well. Introverts will know what I mean. My mom was probably the person who really sparked my interest in science fiction and fantasy. She gave me the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander when I was fairly young, though I had already seen the amazing Arthur Rankin Jr. (1977) Hobbit animated film about a hundred times by then. My mom also introduced me to Frank Herbert’s Dune and let me watch Star Wars as many times as I could handle. Also, Tom Swift adventures which were sort of like the Hardy Boys but with more science and gadgets. Both my parents really fostered my love of reading by setting up a scheme where we had to read to get TV time. My siblings and I soon had racked up so much TV time it started to get ridiculous as we began to power through books.
As you can probably tell, my family was pretty close. We had each other living down by Round Lake and that bond we formed growing up together has never gone away. It was a very rural and isolated upbringing by most people’s standards, but we were happy, and we had a lot of nature around us. I spent a lot of time staring into space as my grandmother would tell you if she were still with us. (My cousins will share a laugh about that. 🙂 )
Anyways, so growing up I quite often felt I had two roles I was filling, the more comfortable one as the oldest brother introvert and geek with my family, and the more public academic jock I showed people at school.
Now sports did cross-over more as we grew up so that I did love sports on my own, which I have my Dad to thank for that as he’s an amazing coach and teacher. He made sports fun, and my brother Regan and I made it competitive.
Regan and I developed an amazing synergy on just about any sports team we were part of. We were almost telepathic which is where I draw a lot of inspiration for my characters Wayran and Matoh, though truth be told there is just a lot of sibling interactions I draw from including my younger brother Sean and sister Nicole. Though Regan and I had the most time together as we are only a year apart. Whatever I was good at Regan would find the other things to compliment and vice-versa. Regan was the best at basketball, and I was the glue guy, I smashed people into the floor in volleyball and Regan set me up to do just that. It was fun. Jocks will understand this though I’m assuming many of those people are not readers of my books if we are stereotyping, haha.
I played all the sports I could handle: basketball, volleyball, baseball, a bit of badminton and track and field. I got involved in the student council and ran the intramural sports program for the high school which was good fun and kept me fit. I also had the honour of being voted as valedictorian. As I said, I could play the extrovert fairly well in those small towns.
When I needed my introvert time though I absorbed as much science fiction and fantasy as I could. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, as many Dragonlance books I could find, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Star Trek – Next Generation, Deep Space Nine (which was a weekly thing with my family), and of course Star Wars, just to name a tiny drop in the ocean. I tried to watch any sci-fi or fantasy movie I could find at the tiny cinema and video rental store we had in Esterhazy.
I also loved playing RPG’s and video games. CHRONOTRIGGER changed my teenage life. It was an amazing video game which I went through and got absolutely every hidden egg in. I still love Final Fantasy games, and this opened the door for Anime. Metal Gear Solid was an excellent inspiration as well. I still play World of Warcraft aka Warcrack. And of course, there were all the amazing sports games, shooters and fighters I played with my brothers. Hockey games are still big when we can find the time to get together. HALO was amazing. Video games were big for us and a big influence on me. Though I don’t think Regan will ever forgive me for our battles on the TMNT fighter for SNES. (Damn you Shredder! I counter with your most hated adversary Wingnut!)
So, to sum up, in my own time, my introvert time, I escaped as much as I could into these wonderful words.
After high school, I went on to start University in Ottawa, where I met an amazing group of friends and my second group of brothers. We got into all sorts of trouble and fun. In hindsight, my grades dipped, but I learned so much more outside of school with my new brothers in arms.
During my university years, (which there are a lot of, and I’m sure the Canadian government is thanking me for that as I’m paying them a lot of interest on my student loans!), I did a lot of flip-flopping of majors as I had the strange idea that this is where you had to decide what to do with the rest of your life! HA! (give me a moment to indulge my naivety.) I ended up with a B.Sc in Mathematics, a B.Ed in Secondary Education, which I used to indulge my desire to go see some more of the world.
Anyways, during this time I had some very different jobs including:
- General Laborer on a French construction site which my friend Stef hooked up for me in Ottawa.
- Teaching English as a Second Language in Taiwan with the help of my Uncle Trent. Fun, but I was probably a bit young, though life-changing and eye-opening.
- Cutting grass for the Town of Esterhazy. The best lazy job I ever had. Jeff Nordquist and I played a lot of cards.
- Working as a cleaner/laundry attendant in the Esterhazy Potash Mine. I really rubbed my boss the wrong way. I probably only got the job because of my dad.
- A Tree Regeneration Surveyor (best job by far) in Grande Prairie Alberta where I spent four months in a tent, met a bear and pretty much had a life-changing epiphany moment in the middle of the forest.
- Cutting grass in Saskatoon (worst job in the world, down to the psychopath in charge of everything. He bragged about butchering animals for fun. Not like as a job, the insane murderer sort of way. Yeah. I got out of there.)
- And a debt collection agency, which most of the city of Saskatoon seemed to have worked for at some time. Soul-destroying.
- Pallet-lift operator for the Co-op where I collected huge orders of groceries that a computer on a headset told me to pick up. I then used the giant clingfilm wrapper to bundle them up for trucks. Paid well. (This is after I get back to Saskatchewan with Claire.)
- Working for the Sustainability Office at the University of Saskatchewan (close second best part-time job) where I literally got to crawl through the bowels of the University finding old relics and would pop out of service doors into bathrooms (I checked first!) and out of hallway walls. Great job. (Also after my initial jaunt to England)
Then I had to get out of Saskatchewan again, as I was afflicted with wanderlust at the time, got a job over the phone to teach Maths as the Stonehenge School in Amesbury, UK and jumped on a plane to Great Britain in August of 2006.
There I met some more amazing people, went on to fall in love with my wife Claire to then rip her out of her art teaching job to come back for a couple years in Saskatchewan where I got my third degree in Human Geography and Urban Planning. The plan was to do something environmentally driven and get back to the UK which, at the time we left, was crying out for planners.
The recession really hits, planning idea sort of tanks.
Claire and I get married in Saskatoon. 2008. The wedding was awesome, people came from all over the world to help us tear the place down. My uncle wouldn’t dance to Bryan Adams and decides sleeping the park is a better call, Claire’s dad was driven around on the trolley for all the chairs, nobody died, and we had a good time.
Did I mention Claire was still on a working holiday visa, which has a maximum stay of two years? Which meant we had run out of time in the same country together. That makes things tough. Don’t just think you can move to another country and it’ll be fine! Governments seem to have quite a few rules about these things that have very little to do with love. Just so you know.
So back to England we go. I can still teach Maths, so I get a job teaching Maths at Fareham College (no longer has A-level’s by the way at the time of this writing. Not my fault I swear.) I have a spousal visa, eventually, and through lots of headaches, turns into dual citizenship. Yeah, that’s fun, I’m now British too!
In 2010 (yes, that’s right, seven years ago before the book is actually published) I tell Claire that I had this great idea for a book which I got driving fourteen hours back from Grande Prairie, Alberta back to Esterhazy. She says, “Well why don’t you write it then?”
Me: “Well….yeah. I suppose I could try to do that.”
Claire: Grins as she knows she is the puppet master.
Me: “I suppose I’ll need to write on something then.”
Claire: “I have a spare sketchbook you can use.” Dance my puppet. Dance!
I proceed to get engulfed in the art of writing. Love it. Thank you, Claire. I love you. Why didn’t I do this sooner?!!
A dog, two baby boys, a house (a mortgage), a job change, two changes of cars and seven years later I get so fed up with editing and rewriting I say, “Fine! I’ll self-publish, or I’ll give this all up. As my book is weird, awesome in my own mind, but doesn’t fit genres very well, and I haven’t published anything yet. This will just be my book in the drawer.”
Claire: “Ooooooooh no, we have not gone through all of that for you to give up. Pay the damn copy-editor and get on with it.”
Me: “Well…yeah. I suppose I could try that.”
Claire: Grrrrr. For someone with three degrees and thinks he’s smart …
Note: Claire thinks she might sound arrogant in this, she is not. Claire was and is incredibly helpful in this whole process. The above situations are of course my own elaborated impression of the situation, as in my mind, she’s usually ten steps ahead of me. (It’s also an attempt at some humour? Epic fail?)
Five weeks later the manuscript comes back from the copy-editor looking much more polished than I had hoped.
I get it onto Amazon, and they just happen to say they now also do paperbacks, not just Kindle books.
Upload awesome artwork from Tomas Honz.
Click. (There is a button that actually says publish!)
Visions – Knights of Salucia – Book 1 is a reality.
That brings us up to where we left off with the Short Version.