From "The Bluenose Limit", 1981:
1951 - Cleburne, Texas, a Leo starts.
1962 - Major Events -
a) Moved to Dallas, the big city
b) Read first book - "Red Planet", by Robert A Heinlein
1969 - Major Event - College Eductation discarded in favor of adventure and romance as bandit in Bolivian Highlands. High Crusade forcibly aborted when first partner, then money, then nerve, drop behind. Education resumed with loss of less than two weeks for the entire round trip to Guatemala and back.
1970 - Major Event - $150 earned selling term papers to fellow students demonstrates not only existence, but true significance of new-found literary aptitude.
1972 - Major Event - Movie Treatment, "Vampires for Blood and Money" sold for $800.
1973 - Major Event - Graduation from Southern Methodist University with a full half credit hour to spare. Temporary financial necessity of entrance into mundane world of commerce is made bearable by surprise discovery of a genuine aptitude for the position of Owner's Son.
1975 - Major Event - Moved to HoorayforHollywood, California. The combined assets of youth, courage, talent, and a small family loan, are brought to bear against the very core of the Movieland Rat Race with the sort of fierce determination that can only mean one thing: Superstar.
1977 - Major Event - Back to Dallas.
Career Goal #6 - The Ability, by 1980, to look back and laugh at recent events.
1979 - Career Goal #7 - Science Fictioneer
a) SF Short Story #1 is rejected. All 12 copies are returned within a week. Five copies are back within three days. One is only gone an hour.
b) SF Short Story #2 is rejected. In an attempt to better focus on the market, only seven copies are sent out. Eight are returned.
c) SF Short Story #3 is "The Bluenose Limit". It is so clearly a masterpiece that the editors of "Amazing" require a scant seven months to decide to buy.
From "Flyer", 1982:
After a two-year screen writing career, Steakley turned to a career of science fiction writing. His first published story ("The Bluenose Limit", March, 1981 Amazing) was rejected by 12 editors before finding its home and such recognition that his first novel, Armor, was accepted upon completion by the Scott Meredith Literary AGency and is now in the process of being placed. Steakley exhibits a rich, unfettered imagination with a clean, spare and direct literary style. A new writer to watch with very special interest.
From "The Swordsman Smada", 1987:
John Steakley has led a busy life. He has been a stock-car racer, a semipro football player, a private detective, an actor, a car salesman, and, of course, a writer. He has been writing for the movies for the last nine years, has completed one novel, Armor, and is awaiting the publication of another, entitled Vampires.
From "The Swordsman's Place", 1989:
John Steakley is that kind of larger-than-life personality that can only come from Texas. The author of Armor, he is currently working on a book for New American Library.