I’m a father, a husband, a writer, a teacher, a reader, and more.

It’s me, squinting in the sun

I was born on a mountaintop in Tenn…oh, wait, that wasn’t me! I was actually born and raised in a very small town in Illinois called Carthage, moved to the massively big city of Dallas, Texas when I was a teenager, and now reside in the medium-sized city of Rogers, Arkansas. I’m a father, a husband, a writer, a (substitute) teacher, a reader, and more. I collect Mego action figures, Bicycle playing cards, and Facebook friends.

I’m married to the love of my life and together we parent our brilliant 19-year-old son who will start college this year, on his…

I was bullied as a child. I grew up in the tiny town of Carthage, Illinois, and went to a small school where everyone knew your business. I was the fat, shy kid with a mole on my face, so it was pretty much a given I’d be bullied. I had “chocolate” (or, as I became older, “shit”) on my face, I was fat as a boat.

Other than a few friends, I pretty much kept to myself and tried hard not to be noticed. The fact that I was also being bullied at home, by an alcoholic, abusive, policeman…

A short story about professional wrestling and what comes after

“Gentleman” Craig Thornton vs Tommy Buckley (image courtesy RedKid)

The roar of the crowd always got Tommy Buckley’s blood pumping, but he’d never before heard a crowd quite like this. This was Wrestlepalooza, baby, an event he’d dreamed of being involved in all his life, and not only was he involved, he was in the effing main event! He was competing for the National Wrestling Federation’s top prize, the world heavyweight championship, against his boyhood idol, “Gentleman” Craig Thornton.

Tommy was standing in the gorilla position (named after wrestler and announcer “Gorilla” Monsoon) poking his head out the curtains near the entrance to the locker rooms, watching the match…

A tale of growing up with a textbook narcissist for a mother and an abusive alcoholic for a father.

My mother was a narcissist. Everything was always about her, and I mean everything. It just took me 22 years to see it, because my father was an abusive, violent alcoholic. I was too busy hating him to see her constant manipulations and gaslighting.

Illustration of parents yelling at a child
Illustration of parents yelling at a child
I always felt stuck in the middle (photo licensed from Adobe Stock)

My father was awful, to be sure, and often beat me with his belt when I misbehaved (and sometimes when I didn’t) but my mother was almost as awful in her own way. She would always tell me we were going to “run away” from my father, but of course we never did.

Instead, she would…

How my hobby grew into something that entertains hundreds of people worldwide daily

I collect Mego 8" action figures, and have for many years. I’d always wanted to set up silly scenes with the figures and post them onthe internet, but for some reason I never did — until September 27th, 2020 came around, that is. On that day, I began a project that would not only bring joy and fun to myself and my family but also to hundreds of people worldwide…and growing!

King vs King is a chess match for the ages

Mego is a company that was created in the 1950s and went out of business in the early 80s. The company, however, was revived in 2018, and so I…

(Though the names and some details have been changed, all of this really happened. Except for the parts that didn’t.)

“Daddy’s killing Mommy,” I said, shortly before my father snatched the phone from my 4-year-old hands and shattered it against the wall.

That’s one of my earliest memories. Not knowing what else to do, I’d called my grandmother from the rotary telephone in the kitchen, while my father strangled my mother in their bedroom.

Photo by Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

Grandma called the police, and before long there were two units at our house on Gravel Drive in the small town of Keokuk, Iowa. My father…

I’m a freelance writer and novelist and have published three dark fantasy novels and a collection of short stories. My day job is that of a substitute teacher, which unsurprisingly pays much better. Like most novelists, I’m not getting rich anytime soon, but I’ll never have the wildly successful career I dream of if I don’t have time to write. If I could devote even a couple of extra days a month to my writing, I’d get more done. But how?

My short story collection

I’d been considering Patreon for years, and finally decided to give it a try. …

Joe DeRouen

Joe is a freelance writer and novelist.

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