Born in the western states in cowboy country, Layne Walker grew up with horses, boots, and cowboy hats. He spent his childhood on weekend mountain camping trips with his family, engaging in motorcycle races, hunting, fishing, and reading books. When he was a young boy, his grandmother taught him to use his imagination during the afternoon periods when she wanted him to take a nap. “Imagine you are a hero in your own movie,” she told him. He found this challenge a fascinating way to use his mind. He credits his well-developed imagination to his grandmother’s gentle prodding to get him to sleep.
Layne’s passionate love for reading novels kept his imagination alive through the years. Although he had toyed with the idea of writing his own novel many years ago, he quickly dismissed the idea when he found it impossible to put the right words on paper. Being a high-school dropout, he had no idea where to begin.
In 2009, he met his soul mate, Anne, an editor and writer. Fascinated by her work with the novels of new authors, Layne asked to read some of the manuscripts. Studying the manuscripts closely, he made a comment to Anne about the poor quality of writing. “That’s my work,” she said. “These authors hire me to help them improve their stories. If you think you can do better, then write one yourself.”
That challenge set Layne on fire that summer of 2010. After a visit to Yellowstone Park with Anne, Layne determined to write a disaster novel about the prediction that the super-volcano under Yellowstone will explode one day, perhaps not too far into the future. With an idea in mind and a new goal to achieve, Layne’s writing career got its fledging start.
First, he had to learn how to use a keyboard and type will all ten fingers, rather than just hunt-and-peck. This took a few weeks. Meanwhile, he started getting his initial ideas down on paper, tying in an amusing twist to the 2012 doomsday theory to kick off the volcano. From here, the action-adventure with Sam Jones took off in a flurry.
Five months later, a “chance” meeting with a friend of Anne’s brought his attention to the local writers’ club. Although Anne wasn’t interested in joining the club, Layne jumped to the opportunity. Within a few weeks of joining the club, his short-story writing career began. He tapped into his imagination to come up with fun stories that ended with a twist. This new talent sparked many clever stories over the course of the next year as he continued to work on his novel. Through the process of critiquing the short stories for the other club members each month, Layne began to pick up all the facets involved with grammar, punctuation, spelling, and story structure.
When he finished Escaping Yellowstone at the beginning of December, 2011, he sent it off to agents and publishers. While waiting for responses, he had enough short stories to put together a collection for a book, Gold Balls of Fur and Other Snapshots of Life, which he also submitted to publishers. After receiving rejections on the collection, he threw himself into self-publishing the book. Finding this process to be fun and rewarding, he self-published Escaping Yellowstone after long delays and rejections from traditional publishers.
Meanwhile, a friend from the writers’ group, Anita, asked him to help her publish her newly completed novel. Taking on the project, he realized he could offer this service to the other people in the writers’ group. He started his own publishing business, mainly aimed at people who wanted to get their memories or stories published without having to pay the high rates required by regular printers and publishers. New Friends Publishing was born.
Layne published his second novel, Tainted Gold, in 2012. In 2013 he published two novels, Convergence of Time and Time Hackers. As of this writing, he has two books in progress. Funny Feelings is on schedule to be published in late 2018. Wrong Side Up will be published some time in 2019. Meanwhile, ideas are bubbling in the background for numerous more books. Several have already been started.