As many of you know, I have an older brother. I want to point out that while he is older, I am bigger.
What I know I don’t need to mention is that mom likes me better, because I have always been the more dutiful son. Also, Pete has this Bob Dylan look-alike thing going on, and that’s just hard to get your head around, no matter how you slice it. And you probably are all aware that Peter doesn’t call me nearly as much as he should, and I honestly can’t remember the last time he gave me a gift of bacon, much less bacon wrapped anything, which is pretty lousy fraternal piety if you ask me. So you may be asking yourself why on earth I put up with him. I ask myself this same question often, and I think I’ve finally come up with an answer.
I had my heart set on academia from my earliest days, and never considered the possibility that I had an artistic bone in my body. If you look at the Products page, you’ll note a lot of non-fiction writing early on in my publishing career. This was largely because I believed that the arts wasn’t an arena where I was welcome or particularly competent. Worse, I’d come to believe that the arts wasn’t a serious occupation. You couldn’t make a living, and honestly, why would you want to? What do artists actually do?
Pete changed that perspective. He is the most dogged devotee of artistic discipline that I have ever known. He treated his music like a trade. He never waited for inspiration or bemoaned the fickle muse. Instead, he sweat, honing his music with a focus that put most professionals I know to shame. He refused to run the rat race like the rest of us, eyes wide open regarding the challenges strewn on that path. Music was his job, and it was a worthwhile job, and nobody was going to tell him otherwise. Peter played with music, he reveled in it, but he always took it incredibly seriously (“just because something is serious, doesn’t mean it has to be heavy,” he once told me).
Watching him, I began to see possibilities in my own nascent fiction writing. Maybe this wasn’t just playing around. Maybe this was a thing that could be real, that could be serious, that could be worth the effort and devotion that is necessary to take anything to a professional level. He’s my big brother. That means that he’s always right and I am required by law to look up to him. I watched him combine his art with raising a wonderful family, with keeping a home, with putting bread on the table and providing health insurance. Pete found a way to make his life work in tandem with his art. One didn’t have to be sacrificed for the other.
Pete taught me to do the same. I am a writer and an officer and a homeowner and all the other regular things that make a life total and successful largely due to that influence. If not for watching him get up every morning and wade into the creative maelstrom no matter what life threw at him, I don’t think I ever would have believed that writing, let alone fantasy writing, could ever be a thing that I could aspire to as an occupation.
But, no, it’s absolutely NOT true that he’s better looking than I am, no matter what that chick at Fado’s said. She was drunk. Heck, she was probably drunk and high.
Pete’s musical prowess is on full display with his new act, Lost Leaders. They’re having their release party for their new EP “The Perfect Lie” on Monday, April 4th at 8PM at Rockwood Music Hall at 196 Aleen St. (between Houston and Stanton) in New York City. You can also download their songs, check out a YouTube video and learn more about the band at their website.
With a little luck, I might even be able to make that April 4th party, and I hope to see some of you there. If I’m a writer, it’s in large part because of the guy who’ll be up on that stage.