My Writing Journey . . .

. . . was a circuitous path.

 

I had the good fortune of being born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, a city of rich, diverse cultural/political heritagefertile ground for creative thought. Early on, I began writing poetry, and I wrote fervently in my teen years. By the time I got to college at Indiana University, I quickly switched my English major to Philosophy after an awesome professor opened my mind to the wondrous new world of existential questioning. After working in hotels and hospitality in California, Washington DC, and Chicago, I returned to school to get a Masters degree in counseling.

Counseling and philosophy—those two areas—profoundly influenced my desire to write novels. As a  counselor, I regularly witnessed the human heart bared open in all its heartbreaking, breathtaking beauty. And as a lover of philosophy, I became acutely aware of the way our endless search for truth and meaning plays out in ways large and small in our daily lives. The inter-mingling of counseling and philosophy was my impetus to create fiction where essential questions are posed and where plot happens in the context of characters' innermost thoughts. 

 

I love authors like Elizabeth Strout, Carson McCullers, James Baldwin, Anne Tyler, and Kent Haruf—who write the kind of novels I can sink into, with something unforgettable that sticks with me afterwards—be it a scene, a phrase, a character, a description, an underlying refrain—something that’s changed me, or altered my worldview in some way. Most of all, fiction should be a truth-teller.