image of J. L. Doty
portrait of J. L. Doty, Santa Barbara, circa 1986

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.