P.G.K. Hanson has lived in Lebanon, Cyprus, Germany, Libya, Cuba, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Virginia, Massachusetts and New Jersey before settling in Pennsylvania to begin a writing career. P.G.K. has 5 college degrees (in Communications, Chemical Engineering, Political Science, and English), from Chestnut Hill College, Northeastern University, Virginia Tech, Arcadia University and MIT (as well as one crazy semester at Havana University). P.G.K. enjoys traveling, having visited the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Israel, England, Scotland, France, Monaco, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and a few of the smaller islands like St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Margarita, as well as touring much of the United States. P.G.K. has 5 children and one grandchild, and, at age 168, is looking forward to launching a successful writing career with The Curse of the Pharaoh’s Stone.
I spent the first 14 years of my life overseas. I was a member of the founding class of the Hong Kong International School. At 14, my father put me on a plane for the journey from Beirut to New York with the admonition: “Don’t lose your brothers and sister.” I attended high school in a small southern town where the culture was as foreign as any place I’d lived. Some of the kids had never been out of the county, let alone the country.
After graduating from VA Tech with a degree in Political Science, I went to work with a ‘beltway bandit’ consultant working on the re-commissioning of the battleship New Jersey. I chewed out a retired captain for slacking off and there ended my consulting career.
I applied at the CIA. After all, I’d spent 7 years in the Mid-East, spoke passable French and could still cuss well enough in Arabic to get knifed. I passed the State Department Foreign Service exam and was waitlisted. I spent the next three years waiting tables at the highest grossing restaurant in the country. I’ve worked as a sheet-rocker, house painter, restaurant chef and manager, entrepreneur, and financial salesman.
I’m an avid outdoorsman and a 12 handicap golfer. My dad wished I’d become a pro golfer, but I was young and wanted to help save the world. Besides, if I play golf often I remember that it’s not a sport, but a form of self abuse. I still love it though!
I have now found my calling. During the day I’m a consumer relations writer for a number of PepsiCo companies. At night I’m a freelance editor, short story writer and aspiring novelist. I’m married to a wonderful, tolerant woman from Philly and have two wonderful, albeit teenage, children.
I was born an Army brat in Frankfurt, Germany, but I’ve spent the bulk of my life in the Philadelphia suburbs. A rather typical childhood led to a BA in Communications from Chestnut Hill College, and a Masters of Arts in English from Arcadia University. I’ve sampled many different careers—retail store clerk, secretary, assistant to executives, theater stagehand, video production editor, and business owner. I have loved writing for my whole life, but only after I married could I step down as founder and editor of The OutSource Video Group to pursue writing full time. Now I squeeze in writing around my daughter’s schedule, but still manage to churn out the words!
Nationality is an accident of birth. Some yearn for other places, hence Anglo or Francophiles. Some yearn for other times and past ages; I’m not sure how they cope. My parents escaped Eastern Europe ahead of the Nazis and settled in Cuba. My children are American. I am Cuban. I was born and raised there and loved it—the camaraderie, the heated arguments, the ever present music seeping in through windows open to capture the cooling breezes, the comparsas during Carnaval, the lush greens, the beaches, the nightlife, everything but the stifling heat—more than I knew, when I had to escape the Castro regime.
Coming to America made me understand what my parents went through in a strange land with strange customs and a strange language. But America, home for most of my life, offers much to love. At times I wonder what if I’d been born here. I live next to an enormous new high school and I’m in awe of all it offers; endless sports fields and learning facilities. I did attend great schools in the USA: Northeastern University and MIT, where I earned a BS and an SM in Chemical Engineering. Afterwards I worked for many years, doing research for a chemical company, where I rose to an executive position. As a teen in Cuba I wrote, and as a Northeastern freshman I won English writing honors, even though I barely spoke the language. But writing, I thought, was something I’d lost along with the Cuba I left behind, until a few years ago, when the need to write made me leave my job and rededicate myself to this new and happy craft.