John Walters is an American writer who has twice circled the globe and lived for extended periods in countries as diverse as Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and New Zealand. As of February 2019, he has published 23 books and over 70 short stories. The books include novels, short story collections, memoirs, and compilations of essays on writing and literature.
His desire to become a writer, or rather realization that a writer was the only thing he could ever possibly be, was awakened while attending a course on science fiction as literature during his sole college year at the University of Santa Clara. While reading the textbook for the course, one of the stories, “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison, caused him to have a career epiphany.
In his hometown of Seattle after his abortive attempt at higher education, Walters attended the 1973 Clarion West Writing Workshop, where his teachers were not only Harlan Ellison, but also luminaries such as Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Peter Beagle, Terry Carr, and James Sallis. Walters benefited immensely not only from the fiction writing instruction, but also from the fellowship and community of like-minded people who also realized that writing was the most profound and fulfilling activity in the universe.
After a few years of frustration, Walters realized that he didn’t have sufficient immersion in the raw stuff of life from which to draw his prose ideas, and encouraged by the writings of Jack London, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and others, he decided to hit the road and live life so he could afterwards write about it. His first trip took him south down the West Coast of the United States and through Mexico as far as Guatemala. When he returned, he packed a few belongings and moved to Los Angeles for a short stint as a would-be screenwriter.
However, he still wasn’t ready to settle down. The road continued to call. With a green duffle bag holding a sleeping bag, a few clothing items, a toiletry kit, and a notebook and pen, he hitchhiked across the United States and took a cheap flight to Luxemburg. After hitching around Europe for the summer, he determined to head east to India, traveling partially by hitchhiking and partially by local transport, something that none of his literary progenitors had ever attempted. The story of his trip to India, return to Europe and the States, and then second trip to India is told in his memoir World Without Pain: The Story of a Search. Other memoirs share the continuing story: After the Rosy-Fingered Dawn: A Memoir of Greece tells of his years in Athens and Thessaloniki raising five sons with his Greek wife. In America Redux: Impressions of the United States After Thirty-Five Years Abroad he writes of the intense culture shock that he experienced when he returned to his homeland with his sons. Writing as a Metaphysical Experience tells of his ongoing journey as a writer.
Walters currently lives in Seattle with some of his sons, precariously eking out a living as a full-time freelance writer.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.