Harlen Bayha grew up in Los Angeles, California, against the hills where orange and avocado groves used to grow. The sad little unincorporated municipality never became a town after building its baby boomer nests in the 1960’s, and has atrophied since he left (probably a coincidence, but you never know). He has fond memories of rolling rotten avocados dropped from untended old orchard trees out into the street, hoping passing cars would drive over them, splattering them into fruity mush.
In those halcyon early days, he dreamed of power fantasies of leading a gang third graders manning of push-cart tanks loaded with water balloon cannons and squirt guns. He told grand tales of their escapades that filled his hours attempting to sleep as the unending heat of summer beat on his bedroom.
Little did he know how lucky he was to have a bedroom, a roof over his head, enough to eat, a caring family, and prospects for a bright future. Still, all of us have trouble as children, and he found escape, humor, and adventure in the fantasy and science fiction stories his mother bought for him, regardless of the cost. That love of telling stories and the urge to imagine “What if?” drives his need to write his books for future readers today.