I have been a science author and interstellar propulsion researcher for about 8 years now. I became really hooked on the interstellar travel theme after responding to a thread on Paul Gilster's Tau Zero Centauri Dreams website about 11 years ago and received a very warm welcome from Paul. At that time, I knew I was destined to become seriously involved in this exciting field of research.
My love of interstellar travel had its genesis in my childhood. Through most of my elementary school age years, I was a shy kid but one who was far from the stereotypical reserved nerdy geek. My grade school report cards where generally good but where far from the straight A cards that the academically focused students would receive. I had a very personal dream, however, that motivated me to get through the often boring school days. This dream is that for an unbounded future of human interstellar space-flight.
My infatuation with manned space exploration began early in grade school, fueled by the Apollo Space Program and lunar landings and the promise of manned missions to distant planets in the not-so-distant future. It seemed as though by the 1980s, we would definitely be sending humans on Martian exploratory missions. My interest in manned space travel waned a bit during the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, but picked up again after I had read a book on real world potential interstellar travel methods based mainly on known and well established physics.