I have been a writer since graduating from the NYU School of the Arts in 1980. After over a decade in Manhattan, I moved to California to pursue screenwriting and take care of my brother, who died of AIDS in 1991. Gay and HIV+ myself, I self-medicated through the worst of the plague years with crystal meth, which led to a conviction for drug-dealing in 2004 and nine months in prison.

Ink from the Pen  is an account of that period behind bars. It is drawn both from memory and the hundreds of letters I wrote to family and friends, many of which were retyped and posted on a blog by my sister. It offers a rare account of a life few of us are ever exposed to, or even think about, and it is also a book about using creativity and wit as survival tools.

I emerged into a life of recovery and activism, writing hundreds of essays for the Huffington Post and my personal blog, The Trash Whisperer, based on my hobby of keeping my Hollywood neighborhood free of litter. In 2011, I entered the Graduate Humanities programs in Mount St. Mary’s University, obtaining a Master’s Degree with a specialization in Creative Writing in 2013. At present I edit film subtitles for a living, and live with my partner, David.

I can be emailed at markolmsted@gmail.com

Followed on Twitter @marquismarq