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J. Andrew Keith - Biography

        J. Andrew Keith was over a week late at birth in 1957, and has been falling further behind ever since. Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, he was forced to follow his family to the suburbs of Chicago when he was nine years old. He quickly realized he did not like Illinois at all and took prompt steps to return to his home town, a move which somehow took twenty years to accomplish.

In the meantime, he became a writer. His first novel, now thankfully lost, was begun as a 7th grade class project, but was not actually turned in until over a year after the assignment was actually due. In 1978 Keith began writing professionally to support a dangerously expensive Gaming habit. He wrote articles, adventure modules, supplements, and other material for a number of role-playing games, including Traveller; Star Trek: The RPG; Doctor Who; and BattleTech. He also produced an RPG design of his own, Freedom Fighters, which was chiefly notable for having a character generation process that lasted longer than the average Italian government.

Keith became a "real" writer in 1988. Over the past eight years he has written, either alone or in collaboration with his brother Bill, over twenty novels and two short stories in fields ranging from historical sagas to men’s action-adventure to technothrillers to science fiction. His work has been compared (though it was never specified whether the comparison was favorable or otherwise) to Jerry Pournelle and David Drake. At present he is behind schedule on two novels and any number of other projects, and trying to figure out where the Rest Stop is on the Information Superhighway.

Andrew Keith, now aged 38, is unmarried. He lives in a small town in Western PA with two computers (unless you want to count the Apple IIe he can’t seem to get rid of); several hundred books, games, and videotapes; and two cats who claim he is dreadfully slow serving their meals. His chief hobby is taping movies and television shows which he rarely gets around to watching. Politically, he veers from staunch support of the Libertarians to an extreme right-wing conservative streak (he’s been heard to complain about "that pinko Rush Limbaugh"), but deep down he’s a Jacobite Scot who firmly believes in the Divine Right of Kings. His chief religious inclination is to re-found the Celtic version of the Catholic Church which went out of style roughly eight hundred years ago. He suffers from a rare form of multiple personality disorder which makes his brain the second most crowded place on Earth (right after the offices of Mumbo Jumbo Airlines, Goma, Zaire), so he always has somebody to talk to. Depending on who he is on any given day, Keith may be a fanatic Scots Nationalist, a merciless RPG Gamemaster, a ruthless Diplomacy player, or a Somewhat Creative Anachronist. Unfortunately, he usually tends to shift into any given persona several days after it is appropriate to his surroundings.

Although he gets along with just about everybody (only feeling the need to kill every third person who disagrees with him), Keith has been engaged his whole life in a bizzarre form of sibling rivalry with his brother Bill, who always seems one step ahead of him. For instance, after Andrew rented a townhouse in his old hometown, Bill returned and purchased a mountaintop refuge nearby. When Andrew finally attempted to achieve parity by acquiring two cats, Bill escalated to four. And don’t even ask about the number of books they’ve each written!

Attempts to obtain photographs of J. Andrew Keith hardly ever work, since he’s usually late for the sitting.

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