I grew up in Glastonbury, CT, and was a mediocre student at best. Although born into a family with a strong background in literature and the arts, English was the only subject I ever excelled at. I’ve always loved the printed word, and I’m an avid reader. I never really entertained the possibility of pursuing writing professionally until I went off to college.
When I was eighteen I moved to down to South Carolina to pursue a BA in English at the College of Charleston, a school with a reputable liberal arts program. My desire to become a writer was the result of a snub followed by a feeling of spite. There was a professor at C of C who was a locally known published author of fiction, and he taught a course entitled Writing the Novel. I tried to get into his class, but because I hadn’t been proactively participating in writing groups or getting my work published in literary magazines, he wouldn’t let me in. Feeling rejected and scorned, I swore to myself that I would get to work on my first novel as soon as I graduated. And I did, but what I didn’t know at the time was that my first novel would have no relation to any of the previous ideas I had bouncing around inside my head.
9/11 happened a mere year after graduation while I was still trying to establish what kind of career might be a good fit for me. I remember thinking that I really had no idea who these people were who’d attacked us, and I wanted to learn more. Once I started sifting through all of the media out there and peeling back the layers, what I discovered was a story that utterly fascinated me, a story more than twenty years old and of a people I knew very little about. Unless you were interested in the Reagan administration’s policies during the height of The Cold War, this story had very little bearing on the lives of average Americans. Then suddenly it did. On September 11, 2001 the whole country woke up to the consequences of our leadership’s decisions and actions.
The story I wanted to tell was about the people at the bottom of the social and political food chain, the people who go about their day to day lives without necessarily seeing the bigger picture. After Preemptive went to print, I decided this was going to be the MO for my storytelling style.
I refer to myself as an historical novelist because the backdrops of my stories are always social and political issues from the very recent past. All of us have been affected by them in one way or another, even if we often don’t realize it at the times they are happening to us.
I’ve shelved a lot of the earlier ideas I had for my novels, not because I’m not passionate about them or because I think they’re no good, but because my understanding of human nature has become more complex within the context of the national and global issues we face, and with this complexity comes a broadening in the scope of my writing, even if the characters are small town people living small town lives. Whether you’re apolitical or simply can’t relate to the issues I bring forth, I feel that you will probably be able to empathize with the characters in my novels, because regardless of the issues that create the conflicts in my stories, there is still the universal element of human nature there that we can all relate to.