Andrew Harkless was born in Orange County, California on February 26th 1970, but raised in central Pennsylvania. He currently resides in coastal North Carolina and is working with a publisher towards the success of his first book. He has never married nor had children—life-lessons possibly still awaiting him down the road.
Many typical luxuries were put on hold in exchange for devoting unbridled time to writing with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful literary author along the caliber of his idol, John Irving—inarguably one of the greatest contemporary American storytellers.
Growing up watching the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowl’s helped fuel Harkless’s palpable desire to someday play professional football; so strong that he never questioned what if, only when. Despite ability and fervor, by the end of high school, physical size (5’7″ 160 lbs.) became the harsh messenger that his first dream would never come true. Skiing, scuba diving, and golf replaced team sports—much more suitable for an only-child who naively also yearned for life to be controllable. Sometime after high school, writing provided the chance, the only true way, to fabricate a world that went exactly as planned—or at least controllable. Three years after abandoning his childhood dream, a new dream blossomed almost overnight—to create novels that would inspire and entertain both in the written form and potentially on the big screen. You be the judge.
Andrew dropped out of Penn State University at the age of 20 with the deliberate, albeit unorthodox, intention to earn a more practical, street-smart degree by studying the human condition through countless bartending positions and extensive travel. From the moment after signing his college termination papers, he realized his new career path would be one of sparse means filled with challenging, often horrifying, periods of introspection and no holds barred character studies of everyone with whom he came in contact. From society’s upper echelon, to those whose resumes read like criminal rap sheets, no type of person was off limits in order for Andrew to hear, find, and create novel-worthy anecdotes. The ultimate goal: arm an innate imagination with enough real life experiences to eventually be proficient in creating authentic, heartfelt, relatable characters to act out the scenes of his imagination through his novels.
The author originally thought his debut novel would arrive a decade after his mission began. Turns out, “Good Intent” does not always (or usually!) mean life will go as planned. U Got to Have U Some Fun is a literary novel full of profound and amusing characters that exceed Mr. Harkless’s original hopes. It is heavily influenced by the author’s stints working for cruise lines. Although his cruise days were behind him by the decade-deadline for his first novel to be complete, it took the better part of another decade and a half to publish.
“The real life-lessons can only be learned when we fully give ourselves to them; this it seems, occurs on an uncontrollable timetable.”
The homework for this story and those currently in the works for Mr. Harkless, required more than a 13,000 mile solo motorcycle trip, more than working aboard cruise ships in the Caribbean or Hawaii, more than witnessing 9/11 first hand or going bankrupt via the economic debacle of 2008. The homework as he refers to it, is simply living as fearless (meaning: able to accept change) a life as possible while continually questioning everything. The author finally remembered something he learned long ago from his college days…even homework can eventually hinder the test, so he’d better start writing about it, before it is all gone.
And his passion for football…forever channeled into a deep love for the game of golf—much safer.