IT WAS JUST AN EMPTY GLASS BOTTLE stinking of liquor, tossed into some bushes under the base of an electric transmission tower.
The kids living in the growing subdivision would huddle inside the base of the tower and it served as a kind of de facto "fort." The night before some of them must have had a party. They left their evidence behind.
The next morning, 10-year-old Chris Colston and his bicycle-riding buddies stopped for a break inside the tower, and they took turns putting their noses up to the bottle to catch a whiff of the alcohol. It was horrible, rot-gut stuff, but it sparked an idea in Colston's mind. That afternoon he wrote about all sorts of assorted stenches he encountered: the liquor bottle, a neighborhood friend's breath, a local skunk terrorizing the neighborhood, and the poop left in yards from the local dogs. So, you could say Mr. Colston's first book stunk.
The books about his neighborhood pals eventually gave way to sports. He went on to become an award-winning USA Today and USA Today Sports Weekly sportswriter, covering the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. He now writes thrillers and young adult action-adventure novels. He shares his life experiences and his love of writing with high school English Honors students in Northern Virginia.