Jim was born in Seattle, but he's lived most of his life in California, though he did live on the east coast and in Europe for a while. From a very early age he made up stories in his head, but he never considered writing. In his family you went to college, got a degree in something useful and got a real job. So he got a Ph.D. in optical engineering, and went to work as a research scientist. But he was still making up those stories in his head, so he wrote the first draft of A Choice of Treasons, and as he says, "It was 250,000 words of pure, unmitigated crap. It was terrible: poorly written, poorly plotted, shallow characters that no reader could come to care about. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but I literally threw it away and turned to other projects." He spent more than a year writing the first draft of Child of the Sword. Then he went back to A Choice of Treasons and started again, from scratch, a complete rewrite from the get-go. He worked on it for several years before releasing it, and also spent some years putting Child of the Sword through a number of rewrites to insure quality.
Science has always been a passion of Jim's, but writing is an addiction. He's finished five books now, with three more that are in various stages of completion. Still Not Dead Enough, book 2 in The Dead Among Us, is scheduled for a March 2013 release.
Jim has a big pet peeve regarding lasers as weapons in science fiction. He spent decades working in the laser and electro-optics industry, even did some research on laser weapons in the 80's. And when writers use a laser as a weapon in a story, they invariably get it wrong, usually by violating some basic law of physics.
Jim intends to keep on writing and producing more stories, but no laser weapons.