I passed a peripatetic childhood reading way too many books, and eventually writing my own little stories, either inspired by my life (such as it was) or by whatever I was reading at the time. I thought I would grow up to be an archaeologist which explains why I read The Last Days of Pompeii at the age of nine. I was fortunate to have a few teachers early on who encouraged my literary tendencies—including one who let me stay inside to read during recess. When I discovered the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group, I delved more deeply into medieval history, becoming enthralled with the dark castles, bloodsports and social expectations of the period. I nearly went to Fordham University for Medieval Studies, but chose Stanford instead—then withdrew as soon as humanly possible. By this time, my stories accumulated rejection slips faster than the DOW was rising, yet I continued to hope my writing would be the answer. I started work on a first novel during a summer writing workshop, and finally finished it some years later, while depending on the refuge of aspiring writers everywhere: working customer service and living with family. A second novel, begun with a notebook full of world-building concepts and great ambitions, lies dormant in a file my computer can no longer read. But when I met Elisha Barber, I knew I was on to something. I have to thank a local workshop with Dan Brown (slightly before he became THE Dan Brown) for my approach to the new project. Now I find that once I start reading history, science, sociology, I discover a dozen different stories hiding in the details. . . I live quietly in New England with my family, where I have just found the right dog to defend the new apple trees from the local whitetail deer population.Read more Read less
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