I’ve worked for a wine merchant; taught English for the Peace Corps in Africa; spent twenty years in the publishing industry; been an at-home parent for longer than that; written at least a dozen novels, nearly all historical; and published two works of history–one, about the potato, and the other, about the First World War. For more about them, I invite you to visit my website. That website also has a blog, devoted to bits of history and historical fiction that I happen across, as a writer and researcher.
As a reader, I need stories about people who have inner lives–dreams, desires, impulses, private selves–whether they’re conscious of them or not. I’ll say more about this as time goes on, but for now, that’s the quality that to me makes Winnie the Pooh and War and Peace special in the same way. Winnie the Pooh, incidentally, was the first book I could read by myself; what thrills I felt to open that same copy, given me when I was five, and share those stories with my two boys.
I’ve dreamed of being a writer ever since I was fifteen, when I first discovered how much I wanted to have a voice and be heard. The voice I admired most was James Thurber’s, because I loved his humor, sense of the absurd, and willingness to swim against the tide. I still do, though I’ve found many other influences since, whom you’ll come across as this blog grows.
When I’m not writing or reading, I cook; like the first two, it’s something I have to do, and love. I also enjoy working with my hands, so I garden and take on modest carpentry projects. My favorite form of exercise is hiking, both where I live, in the Pacific Northwest, and abroad. In September 2014, I spent two weeks hiking in France, where I took the photo above, from a hill overlooking the Dordogne outside the village of St.-Sozy.