Biographical information on
James R. Muri, Author of Straws
James (Jim) popped into the world on December 25, 1943. He grew up in an Air Force family and, as was typical of the times, moved with them frequently. As a result he attended fourteen different schools before high school, two of them overseas in Japan and Belgium. He attended Grand Prairie High School in Texas, but graduated from Henley High School near Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his parents had moved in order to retire.
A few years later Jim found himself in Viet Nam. There, as a Clinical Specialist, he ministered to the medical needs of US military personnel, and others as needed. He carried out his duties in such places as Dalat, Phan Thiet, Ban Me Thuot, Phan Rang, Cam Rahn Bay, and another place he only knew as Camp Rock in Bao Lok Pass. In his spare time he taught himself classical guitar and learned Taikwondo from the Korean military in Phan Rang.
After leaving the Army in 1969, he returned home to Riverside, California. Eschewing the purchase of a Moto Guzi 750 motorcycle and a road trip to the Mardi Gras, he instead bought a used Oldsmobile Starfire and got a job as a Licensed Practical Nurse. He met his first wife, another LPN, in the first hospital at which he applied.
A couple years later Jim re-joined the Army, this time to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. From there, after a brief stop at Fort Sill, Oklahoma to learn how to survey and cock cannons, Jim and his family were assigned to Germany. He spent three years there as an artillery officer before returning to the States. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Jim continued carrying out artillery-related duties.
Three years later he attended the Advanced Course at Fort Sill, after which he was sent to Korea for a year.
Upon return to the States, Jim was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington. He and his wife divorced about that time. About three years after that event, Jim and his current wife left the Army and sought their futures in the private sector. Jim rented his expertise out to the Army for a time, serving as a defense contractor with skills as an opposing forces wargamer. That type of work lasted about five years in both Tacoma, Washington and Leavenworth, Kansas. Jim then took a position with another firm providing space support to the Army Space Institute at Fort Leavenworth. In that assignment Jim wrote a number of technical documents concerning the proper use of space-related equipment, and space-related lesson plans for the Command and General Staff college at Fort Leavenworth.
During the years since Jim graduated from high school he acquired a BA in Biology from California State University at Fullerton, and a Master's of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He also became a member of American Mensa.
When the contract to support the Army Space Institute reached completion, Jim found himself with an uncomfortable amount of time on his hands and began writing fiction. To his surprise, he discovered it to be not much different from writing technical documents - be brief, be precise, be organized.
Jim and his wife have three children, and Jim has another by his first wife. Jim's writing continues, and he has been awarded the "best prose" and "best poem: awards a number of times. His short story "Catfish Summer" was published in a secondary and adult student reading text. Several high schools use his stories - most often "The Coin Toss" - in their curricula. A poem has been published for use in Singapore, in a textbook. At least two of his stories have been made into short cinema by college students. The University of Indiana uses his short story "Eye for an Eye" in their Philosphy of Law course, alongside of Plato and Sophocles. He has churned out five novels, three of them comprising a trilogy. He also writes poetry, but despite winning prizes, he will tell you that he is not a poet.
He currently serves as acceptance editor and manuscript critiquer for an on-line literary site, sails when he can, and continues writing his next novel.