I go by B. because my dad always called me that, and he sorta has naming rights.
I'm a medical student doing my training in the great state of California. I'm also an aspiring author of fantasy novels.
You can reach me via email at:
bjustinshier (at) gmail (dot) com
I was born to an awesome set of parents in New Jersey. Seeking a better life, they moved out to Las Vegas, Nevada while I was still a toddler. Las Vegas is where I grew up. It's the place I think of as home. And home has changed a lot. When I was little, that mountainous bowl was all desert. Now the whole place is filled with homes and casinos and a rather impressive array of payday lenders.
I attended the Meadows School for my K-12. The school sits on the west side of the valley, in the shadow of the Red Rock Canyon. And it's tiny. There were only 60 people in my grade. I learned a lot there. How to spell my name. How to walk in lines. How to sit quietly. How to see through propaganda. How to question authority. But most importantly, the teachers at the Meadows taught me how to be curious. They got me to ask, "Why?" like it was going out of style. That little trick has served me well. Whether it be in my writing, or in my research, or in my clinical practice, "why" is still my favorite word.
After finishing high school, I was fortunate enough to have a choice of where to go for college. I was dead set on somewhere in California when I was offered a trip to see a college called Washington University in St. Louis. I fell in love with the place. The trees were big, the buildings were old, and the whole city was full of creative people. From the wave of young rappers that brought us Nelly, to researchers driving the Mars rover, to men and women designing the newest wave of Cisco routers down, to the new wave of Nigerian immigrants down the street, the whole place felt alive. After sitting in on one performance of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra the deal was sealed. I think it was a good call. I spent four awesome years in St. Louis. Got to ask "why?" some more. Got to meet my wife.
We moved to California after college. I wanted to continue doing research and maybe get a PhD in psychology. In the meantime, I took a part-job in cancer research. That changed my life forever. I started taking classes at USC and UCLA because I couldn't understand what the researchers were talking about. I learned about organic chemistry and how to read our DNA. Then I took an even bigger leap. I decided to go into medicine.
Medicine is a scary profession. If you don't know something, bad things can happen fast. But you get to stand back-to-back with some pretty awesome people. People who care. People who've dedicated their lives to making a difference. But don't let anyone tell you that it isn't stressful. And that stress weighs on you. If you're not careful, it can take you down. I guess that's why I took up writing. It's the way I unload all the baggage that piles up. Perhaps you'll notice that influence in my work. Perhaps not. All I know is that I write because I love to, because I need to, and that's good enough for me.