Dyrk Ashton was born in Athens (Ohio, not Greece) on a chilly Halloween morning. He whiled away his adolescent years and teens in cornfields, woods, rivers, ditches and haymows, climbing trees, running along barn beams, riding, wrestling, soccering, fighting BB gun wars, reading Stuart Little, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, everything Verne, London, Kipling, White, Lewis, Doyle, Burroughs, Poe, Howard, Fleming, Lovecraft, Tolkien, Zelazny, and generally ignoring school -- though he somehow managed excellent grades (except in Algebra, of course).
Dyrk earned a BFA and masters degrees in filmmaking at The Ohio State University, which lead to working in film production in Columbus, OH, where he crawled his way up from production assistant to grip then production manager and producer for commercials, industrial films and low budget features. He then headed west to Los Angeles where he wrote and pitched scripts but fed and clothed himself as a "jack-of-all-trades": editor, assistant editor, location sound recordist, cinematographer, assistant director, production manager, producer, you name it.
Mostly, however, he made his living as a SAG/AFTRA actor, appearing in nothing you've ever seen. And if you have seen it, he was probably in it so briefly you missed him. It can be done, acting professionally, even if you have no talent but are good at auditioning and have a look that very few actors and no regular folks can pull off. He didn't earn a lot of money and whatever he did make is long gone (L.A. is expensive), but he did get to travel quite a bit, including an eight week stint in Kandy, Sri Lanka (and it was awesome).
After nearly six years of scraping by in L.A., he realized he probably wouldn't, in all actuality, die if he never got to make a big Hollywood film, so he moved back to the Midwest and went to Bowling Green State University for a PhD in Film Studies. He wrote a dissertation on The Lord of the Rings movies. And they gave him a diploma. Shocking. Then he got hired as a professor. Even more shocking. Apparently PhDs are tossed out like parade candy these days and just about anyone is allowed to warp the minds of our precious youth.
He spent four years in a tenure track position then began teaching entirely online and found he actually had time to read books again -- fiction, sci-fi, fantasy -- not just academic journals and textbooks. Then he realized he actually had time to write. And so he did, bringing to bear his lifelong fascination with mythology and storytelling and gathering together (some clearly ridiculous) ideas he'd had for years.
The result is Paternus, the first in a trilogy of contemporary urban fantasy adventures for grown ups. Writing novels is something he'd always wanted to do but never had the time, gumption, or the maturity, more likely, to actually do. He's found he loves the writing process, actually needs it, and will continue to write even if nobody buys the stuff.
Still, he's been heard to paraphrase the immortal line of Billy Mack (played by the ever fantastic Bill Nighy), from Love Actually: "If you believe in Father Christmas, children, like your Uncle Dyrky does, buy my festering turd of a novel."
And yes, Dyrk Ashton is his real name. He's been told many times it sounds like the screen name of a Soap actor or porn star. Cool. Truth is, his father is of (mixed) English decent, and his mother (mixed) Scottish, (a Campbell, no less, though her father always emphasized that they were highland Campbells, not lowland. The highland Scots fought against the English, the lowlands sided with them, you see). Anyway, Dyrk's mom liked the way the name looked when spelled with a "y" instead of the more common "i". So there.