Robert James "RJ" Salem
Robert James Salem was born in Dallas, Texas on March 11, 1993. Shortly after his first birthday, his family relocated to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where RJ would live for many years. He grew up in a busy household with three other siblings, and adjusted well to an atmosphere of fun-loved chaos. His father, a business owner and former journalist, and his mother, an educator, introduced him early on to the literary world. While his parents encouraged an interest in a broad array of fiction authors ranging from Mark Twain to Roald Dahl, his older brothers helped unveil the fantasy worlds of authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. RJ felt an instant attachment to these magical realms, inspiring him to begin working on his own stories. The most prominent of these early tales, entitled The Crystal Wars, was written when RJ was only ten years old (A typed copy of this critically-acclaimed masterpiece is still in his possession).
Over the next decade, RJ developed a wide variety of interests, from screenwriting and movie production to mountain climbing and archaeology. A love for music encouraged a passion for vocal performance, as well as abilities on the piano, guitar, and even the trombone. During Junior High and High School, Boy Scouts nurtured a love for camping, hiking, and the great outdoors, and RJ received his Eagle Scout Award at the age of sixteen. After high school graduation in the spring of 2011, RJ began his freshman year of college at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.
College was a time of great transformation in RJ's life. His family relocated to Louisiana, he met his girlfriend (now his fiance), and made a return to one of his first true passions: writing. The discovery of Stephen King's memoir On Writing was a powerful influence in RJ's return to the keyboard, inspiring him to pursue a life of adventurous creativity and eccentric storytelling. RJ graduated college with a Bachelor of Science in 2015 and now spends his days writing and brainstorming, spending time with his loved ones, and working at a local bookstore as well as the public library. His debut novel, Cydonia, is set for publication in early 2017.