I was introduced to Edgar Allen Poe formerly in high school.  Some how, the Raven and I were one. Totally felt raven-like.  What can I say? I was a dark chick at one point in my life.

But then, back during high school, I got a hold of those little mini books that gave abridged versions of stories. In Houston, you could buy them in Fiesta supermarkets and in East Harris County that was one of the few places you could buy books. I loved the adaptations of The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado.

I didn’t know then how much Poe would shape me. He’s the grandfather of the modern mystery, a genre I adore and hope to master one day. A twisty bastard whose mind was home to all things light and dark.  There was no gray with him and that is what makes him epic.

He’s made it okay, even cool, to be twisty, dark, and sinister — a great model for a young Icess. He also lead me toward this writing path.  He’s Boston born. Close enough to my birthday to almost be an Aquarian. Tough life. Consumed with the word.

He was one of my first teachers and I didn’t even know it.

So Happy Birthday, homeboy! Hope I do you proud.