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My Story: About Jason Hamilton

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Hello!

My name is Jason Hamilton. I am a mythic fiction author, a lover of stories throughout the world, a husband, a father, and a huge nerd. Not necessarily in that order.

By day I work as the content manager for a website called Kindlepreneur.com. It’s basically a site all about writing, publishing, and marketing your own books. For me, as someone who has been self-publishing books since 2018, it is basically a dream job.

By night I write fantasy that is heavily influenced by mythology, and I run this website as a way of researching what I write about, and hopefully getting others interested in these amazing stories that came from our ancestors.

That’s the tl;dr, but if you would like to know more about me, I have a much more thorough introduction below, plus more details about the purpose of the site, why I do what I do, and my mission.

Let’s start with what I consider to be the most important part of my life…

The Hamilton Family

I come from a line of Hamiltons that immigrated from Ireland to the United States in the mid-1800s.

(No, I’m not related to that Hamilton, although my ancestors might have lived in a musical without me knowing, as some musical ability does seem to run in my family.)

My Hamiltons were from Ireland, and most of my DNA comes from the British Isles generally. I have a mix of Celtic, English, and Viking blood in me, according to Ancestry DNA.

Note: this ancestral lineage might have something to do with my fascination with the British Isles, as well as British and Celtic Mythology in general. I’ve been to the U.K. and Ireland seven times, and I never want to stop.

I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, where I met my wife at nine months old.

growing up with my wife
Me and my wife recreating a picture of us at 5 years old.

Yes, you read that right. My wife and I knew each other basically since birth. When my parents moved to Maryland while I was still less than a year old, my wife would have been only two or three months old.

Our families attended the same church and became friends. Little did any of them know that they would eventually be grandparents of the same grandchildren.

It took my wife and I a little while to figure out that we were destined for each other, but eventually I wised up and discovered that she had known the whole time. We were married in 2019 in St. George, Utah.

Two years later we welcomed our first child. I might be biased, but I am pretty sure she is the cutest thing in the world.

Piper in the pumpkin patch
Piper in 2022

Family is extremely important to me, which is why I am talking about my family first before moving on into my story. While I have goals and ambitions of my own, most of my motivation comes from my family, and I am blessed to have a wife who encourages my endeavors.

I’m still waiting for the moment when she realizes she married a weirdo.

If you join my VIP email list (or have already), you will doubtless get the occasional family update, because that’s who I am. Just a heads up.

We currently live in the coastal regions of North Carolina, living the dream within walking distance of the ocean. And we somehow managed to get there while being dirt poor.

The Beginning of My Journey

For the rest of this article, I want to guide you through some of the most formative parts of my childhood and adult life, especially those that are related to storytelling and mythology.

For my younger years, some of the most important moments involved:

  • My desires to be a film director
  • How these desires fueled my learning
  • How college shaped these dreams

Film Director Jason

I started getting into storytelling early, with my initial ambition to be a film director.

It all started when I was about 11 or 12, and made my first film: a Star Wars fan film called Teen Wars. I would later redo this film with some of my friends as a 14-year-old. It was better than the original, but not by much.

A still from the first Teen Wars film I made at 14
A still from the first Teen Wars film I made at 14.

(And no, I will not let any of you see this film. If you really make a fuss about it, maybe I’ll add a $100 tier on Patreon, and those select few can see it.) 

Learning about Storytelling

I have a distinct memory of going to the library and picking out any book on storytelling and filmmaking that I could find.

And this is impressive, considering that, until this point, I detested any kind of nonfiction books. But here I was, combing through filmmaking textbooks, and reading huge biographies of Steven Spielberg.

Looking back, it was a testament to my passion of the subject, and a clear sign I was on the right track.

At 17, I created a sequel to the Star Wars fan film, entitled: Teen Wars 2. By this time, I had learned a little more about storytelling, and applied that to my script.

A still from the second Teen Wars film. Better but still cringe worthy.
A still from the second Teen Wars film. Better but still cringe worthy.

And while I will never let you watch this fan film either, I will admit it was a considerable improvement upon the first.

I knew I was destined to become a filmmaker, and devoted all of my resources to learning everything I could about it.

Nothing could crush my dreams…

College Crushes My Dreams

Okay, I might be a bit dramatic, but this is what it felt like at the time.

The film program at Brigham Young University was pretty good and competitive. You were only allowed to apply twice to the program, which is exactly what I did.

The first time I applied, I didn’t get in.

The second time, I applied again, and this time I got a student tutor from the filmmaking program. I consulted with the professors, I did twice as much work, I made a short film that was orders of magnitude better than my first application.

And still didn’t get in.

At the time, I was crushed, because I couldn’t apply again, and transferring to a different university did not seem like an option to me.

Me in a college study abroad program. My first trip to the UK. Here I am visiting the pub where Tolkien and Lewis met with the Inklings.
Me in a college study abroad program. My first trip to the UK. Here I am visiting the pub where Tolkien and Lewis met with the Inklings.

So I went with the next best thing: English. If I couldn’t become a filmmaker, at least I could become a good writer.

(I still plan on getting into filmmaking, though. One day, one of my books will become a movie.)

A Weird Transitionary Period

When I finished college, I got a job writing web content for an SEO company. If you don’t know, SEO means “search engine optimization”, and it is the process of getting content that you write to rank on Google for various keywords.

It was a very informative job, and the skills I learned there I would carry with me to this day.

In fact, SEO writing is what I consider to be my best professional skill, i.e. the thing I can charge people the most for, hehe.

I stayed in this job until 2015 when I suddenly had to leave the company. I wasn’t fired or anything, but the company dissolved my position. Human resources gave me the option of an alternative job that I could take. But the pay wasn’t any better, and I would have been doing much harder work.

So I decided to leave the company and pursue freelance for time.

To save money, I also ended up moving back home to Maryland to be with my parents.

Yes, I know, the classic millennial in his parents’ basement. But stay with me here. Moving back to Maryland ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the catalyst that led to multiple blessings, including:

  1. Getting my first significant job
  2. The opportunity to get a Masters degree in my favorite place in the world
  3. Beginning to improve my health
  4. Being close enough to date my future wife
  5. Time to breathe and try new things, including writing my very first books.

Let’s go through these one by one…

Getting My First Significant Job

2016 was when I got my first significant job. It paid way more than my SEO job, and it was doing work that I love, web content production. 

I was working in the marketing department for my local community college, updating and maintaining website content.

It was very different work from the SEO content I had done earlier. I wasn’t writing with the intent to rank well on Google, or even rank it all. Most of the writing I did was to simplify complex information, make sure everything was up-to-date and accurate, and approach news stories from a more journalistic perspective.

While very different from the kind of content I was used to writing, and the kind of content I preferred writing, this job did have one major advantage: it didn’t overwhelm me.

It can sometimes be extremely hard for a writer to write on the side, if their primary job exhausts their writer brain.

This community college job did not do that for me, and so I was able to write several of my first books during this time.

It was also around this time that my first website, All Timelines, began to take off. I received a link from Lifehacker, and my SEO improved overnight. It was another confirmation for me that I was on the right track.

Note: Due to shifting priorities, I eventually shut that website down, but some of the same content has or will appear on this site in the future.

Getting My Masters Degree

Shortly after I got this job, I started looking for Masters degree programs. In actuality, I didn’t like the idea of a Masters program in the United States. The cost was just so high, and I much preferred the idea of studying abroad, or even studying online from an international school.

Me visiting Shakespeare's birthplace while returning to the UK for my Master's Degree.
Me visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace while returning to the UK for my Master’s Degree.

It took a little while, but I eventually found the perfect school. It was a university in England that had a creative, media degree. I could spend most of the time working online, but I got to travel to the UK on four separate occasions.

This might be a good place to mention that I absolutely love the United Kingdom. Back in 2011 I went on a study abroad trip there, and I always wanted to go back. This Masters degree was my first opportunity to do so, and I jumped at the chance.

Plus the program was a lot cheaper than if I had attended a UK school in person, even with travel expenses accounted for.

Now, I don’t believe that having that Masters degree is worth much in my present circumstances, but I absolutely do not regret doing it. It gave me four awesome opportunities to travel to my favorite country in the world, gain experiences I would never have dreamed of, and cement my lifelong love of the history and mythology of the British Isles.

My Health Journey

In April 2018 I had an abscess that ballooned into something horrific within a few days. I ended up needing surgery to drain it, and in the same visit, I learned that I had type II diabetes.

Me at a low point in my health, having minor surgery and being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.
Me at a low point in my health, having minor surgery and being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.

This may sound like a horrible experience, and in some ways it was, but it was also the beginning of my health journey, which has been a long and winding road.

While I still struggle with food addiction, this was when I started counting backward from 415 pounds. As of this writing, I am nearly 100 pounds beneath that. I still have a long way to go, but this is when it started.

And that is why I am profoundly grateful that I got that painful abscess.

Beginning to Date My Future Wife

Around the same time that I got my Masters degree, I started reaching out to Rebecca, a girl I had (as previously mentioned) known since we were young children.

In fact, we had known each other all through elementary, middle, and high school. We were even in the same university together: Brigham Young University. We had each gone our separate ways after our undergraduate degrees, but by this point in time she had finished her Masters degree in environmental education, and was currently working in the coastal regions of North Carolina.

I was still living in Maryland, which I thought was close enough to North Carolina that I might reach out to see if she wanted to hang out.

Rebecca and I had maintained communication over the years, not exactly flirtatious, but we kept up with each other, which was more than could be said of other friends from our youth. After I left college, I realized that I might be interested in dating Rebecca, but the opportunity didn’t really present itself until now.

Our first official date was in August 2017, when she came up to Maryland to visit her family. She came over to my house for dinner on Friday, and the next day I took her to the aquarium and we watched Spider-Man: Homecoming. By that second date, we already knew we were interested, and we held hands for the first time.

Visiting my soon-to-be wife in coastal North Carolina.
Visiting my soon-to-be wife in coastal North Carolina.

Things progressed rather quickly from there, even though Rebecca still lived in North Carolina. We took periodic trips to visit each other, and I got to know Morehead City, and the other areas of coastal Carolina, something that would become important later.

It was honestly a magical time, and one that I look back on with great fondness.

To make a long story short, we were married on 22 February, 2019 in St. George Utah (in the same place where her parents and grandparents were married), then embarked on a magical honeymoon in New Zealand.

Wedding of myself and Rebecca in St. George Utah.
Wedding of myself and Rebecca in St. George Utah.

Writing My First Books

Throughout this entire period, I created my first fantasy book series: an eight-book series called Roots of Creation.

I was honestly lucky that my job wasn’t too stressful, and that my girlfriend/wife was extremely supportive of my endeavors.

A strong sense of burnout would eventually hit me, but at this time, that didn’t happen. It was a great learning experience, and a vital accomplishment to have, especially for upcoming job interviews.

Post-Married Life

After getting married, I entered what felt like a new phase of my life. A lot of new developments would happen, including:

  • That time I got burnout
  • That time I almost died
  • The birth of my daughter
  • A new job, and a new home

Once again, it seemed like God was laying out my life for me, even though some of these next experiences were extremely hard.

That Time I Got Burnout

After my first eight book series, I started working on another one, intended to be six books, and I was super excited.

I went all out with the marketing. I created a website and wrote tons of articles to try and attract readers of the genre, I took out a loan of $4000 to spend on ads and promotional material, I spared no expense on book covers and book descriptions.

I was basically sure that this series would do much better than my first.

Well… It didn’t.

I had written the first two books, and released the first in fall of 2019, with the second book a week later.

It tanked. Badly.

I spent over $1000 in advertising alone, and didn’t even make half of that back. It was absolutely soul crushing, and it became extremely difficult to continue working on book 3 in the series, much less think about books 4 through 6.

I fell into a deep state of writer’s burnout, where my hands would literally shake over the keyboard if I tried to write. It felt awful, like I was drowning. I began to question whether I was meant to be a writer at all.

As I am writing these words, I still struggle with the aftereffects of this burnout. It lasted for several years, and while I have managed to write some books in the interim, it took far longer to write those books.

The good news is I am recovering. Recovery began when I focused more on the process of writing as a journey to become a better writer, rather than trying to write a lot of books.

When you focus on the books, you can be disappointed. When you focus on everything you learn from every minute of writing, every day is a win.

Still, this was a hard thing to go through, but it was nothing compared to what was to come…

That Time I Almost Died

2020 was a hard year for all of us. It was a hard year for me too, but for completely different reasons.

In June 2020, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Thankfully we caught it early enough, and I was given a strong dose of antibiotics to take care of it.

Unfortunately, the antibiotics had some nasty side effects, resulting in intense nausea, my first ever panic attack, several trips to the emergency room, and a never ending feeling of un-wellness.

This nausea…lasted for four months. And it never let up. I woke up feeling nauseous, I went to bed feeling nauseous. Every day. For four months.

It was absolute hell.

An idea of the weight I lost during this ordeal. It was not healthy.
An idea of the weight I lost during this ordeal. It was not healthy.

The worst part was that we couldn’t figure out the problem. The doctors ran test after test, including a CAT scan, various other nuclear tests, an ultrasound, and more.

We still don’t know, officially, what happened. By the end, I was losing my stable vision (everything was becoming dizzy), I was dry heaving every single day, usually two or three times a day, and I was lucky if I could get down 300 calories of food in a day.

What we think happened is that the antibiotics irritated my stomach lining, aggravated further by my stomach acid. When I was given medication for that, it seemed to fix the problem, but caused extreme constipation.

I don’t think the doctors thought that something as simple as constipation was the actual cause of this problem, because it never came up. Nevertheless, once I was able to solve that particular issue, the rest of my symptoms faded away.

I just wish it could have taken less than four months to figure that out.

Regardless, despite the fact that I literally thought I was dying, and was preparing for the worst medical news a person can hear, I got better.

After these two very difficult ordeals, my life began to look up again.

The Birth of My Daughter

Shortly before all of this medical nonsense happened to me, my wife got pregnant (yes, you can imagine the stress we were under).

(We like to joke that the nausea I was feeling was just extreme sympathy nausea for my wife’s pregnancy.)

Thankfully, I began to recover a few months before my wife’s due date.

And in January 2021, we welcomed Piper into our family.

Holding piper for the first time
Holding Piper for the first time.

I may be biased, but I am pretty sure she is the cutest little girl in the entire world. She was alert and wide-eyed from the very beginning, and continues to be curious, happy, and a joy/terror for her parents.

As anyone who has had a child will know, this was an all hands on deck situation, but we got through the first few months without much complication.

This marked the beginning of several fortuitous events, though none of them would compare to the joy that I would receive from raising this baby daughter.

A New Job Opportunity

While all this was happening, my wife and I were living in a studio apartment above someone’s garage, and we soon knew that we would require more space in the near future.

Unfortunately, the job I had at the community college did not pay enough that we could get a proper two bedroom apartment in the Maryland suburbs area.

So even though I was comfortable with this job, it was time to look elsewhere.

I had several job interviews for a bunch of jobs that I was excited about, each of them teasing a very different career path (one was even applying for Zenimax Media, the videogame company that makes Elder Scrolls Online).

None of these panned out, however, and I was beginning to grow frustrated. As a religious man, I wondered if God was holding out on me, waiting to either test my patience, or to send me an even more perfect opportunity.

Turns out, it was both.

A screenshot of the Kindlepreneur website.
A screenshot of the Kindlepreneur website.

One day, I saw a job listing for a content manager position with Kindlepreneur, a website I already followed due to the books I had written, and the research I had done in self-publishing.

The job listing was something I was uniquely qualified for, and eventually I decided to apply.

However, I discovered that they quickly took the job listing down after it was initially published, and I reached out to learn why.

I was told that they took it down to adjust some of the parameters, and that they would let me know when it was available again.

Well, I couldn’t wait, so I sent in my resume anyway, along with a sample article to prove that I knew how to write well for the web, and that I could do so in the style of Kindlepreneur.

The owner of Kindlepreneur, Dave Chesson, was impressed, and long story short, I got the job, without the position even being opened again to the public.

This was a dream come true. It paid more than my previous job, it allowed me to work from anywhere, and most importantly, it was a job in the industry that I wanted to be in.

As of this writing, I am still working in this job, and I love it.

A New Home

With a work-from-home job, my wife and I realized that we could live virtually anywhere. We considered several other places in Maryland, because that’s where both of our families were, but we eventually found the perfect opportunity in Morehead City, North Carolina.

If you recall, this is where my wife used to work before we got married. 

It was near the beach, the cost of living was significantly lower than in Maryland, we knew people there, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Posing in front of our brand new apartment in North Carolina.
Posing in front of our brand new apartment in North Carolina.

So we moved in August 2021, while Piper was still only seven months old.

This turned out to be a great decision, and we are still there as of this writing.

We still don’t have much, but we managed to live within walking distance of the beach, which as far as I am concerned, means we are living the dream.

Bringing Us to the Present

We have had several adventures since moving to North Carolina, not the least of which was a trip to Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman wall that stretched for 84 miles from one end of England to the other.

(This is the Roman wall that George RR Martin would use as his inspiration for the giant wall in Game of Thrones.)

jason hamilton at hadrian's wall
Me overlooking a scenic portion of Hadrian’s Wall.

We ended up hiking the entire length of it, 84 miles, in seven days. As someone who has seen extreme health challenges, this was a huge accomplishment for me.

I also began to take my work a little more seriously, writing more, and building this website.

I am sure we will have many more adventures in the future.

My Big Why

As I began to take work on my own business more seriously, I decided to really focus on the “one thing”.

One of my worst flaws is the fact that I have difficulty focusing my attention on any one thing for long. I get shiny object syndrome and abandon my current projects in favor of something new.

But I quickly realized that I do not have enough time to do such things, especially when I still have a full-time job with Kindlepreneur. I had to prioritize what I felt was the most important thing.

Which brings me to my “Big Why”.

At a fundamental level, I want to create content that helps people grow into a better version of themselves. I particularly love content that educates as well as entertains.

I believe it was Walt Disney that coined the term “edutainment”, which has also been pioneered by others such as George Lucas.

This is something that I am incredibly passionate about, and so this became a big why:

My big why: I help others grow into the best version of themselves. I do this by encouraging literacy and a love of reading, by creating content that both entertains and educates.

My Mission with MythBank

Additionally, I decided to narrow down my focus, at least for now, on the subject of mythology. This is why I shut down other endeavors, such as my site All Timelines (it was dying anyway), and committing to building this website, and writing books that were related to mythology and Earth legends.

And I am committed to that focus for many years to come.

My mission, specifically, for MythBank is to promote the education and love of world mythology through entertaining and accurate books on the subject, along with website content to support those books.

I value creativity, curiosity, and prolific writing, all of which I hope will make an impact on this website and in the books that I publish.

My Mythology Shared Universe

One of the biggest things I’m trying to do is create a shared universe of mythology, a universe I call the Argoverse.

One of the purposes of this website is to help me in my research, so that I can effectively create this universe, and make it as true to the spirit of old myths as I can, with the understanding that adaptation requires adaptation.

Whew! If you’re still reading, I applaud your effort. I hope that you’ve had a chance to get to know me a little bit better, and I hope to get the chance to get to know you as well.

The best way to do this is to join my VIP newsletter, which I send out several times a week. Plus, you get a free copy of my short story collection: The Arthur Tales, which contains several stories set in my shared universe of mythology, specifically about King Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table.

And with that, I hope you enjoy!

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Author

Jason is a Mythic Fantasy Author and creator of MythBank. He loves mythology, history, and geek culture. When he's not writing, his favorite hobbies include hiking, chilling with his wife, spouting nonsense words at his baby daughter, and developing this (and other) websites.