I was born in New York City (longer ago than I care to remember), and grew up in nearby Suffolk County, on Long Island. I have been married to my lovely wife since 1999, and we have lived in several places in her native Britain, including north London, Christchurch and Trowbridge (outside of Bath), and are now back in London. We also spend as much time as we can in Catskills ski country, in upstate New York.
Having once been one myself, I had long been interested in exploring young Americans’ experiences in Europe. I even considered writing a non-fiction book on that subject. (In an earlier life I had been an academic.) Ultimately I decided against doing so. Weighty tomes by or about Americans abroad are a dime a dozen, and everyone who has ever backpacked somewhere seems nowadays to write or blog their “travel memoirs.”
So, I wondered, “What about fiction? That form allows for a freedom to convey ‘reality’ that non-fiction does not. And don’t we all love a good story? Most of all, don’t we really love one rooted in facts?”
I ask that last question rhetorically because the novels are sourced from many of my experiences, as well as from tales I have heard from others. Yet don’t go looking for a real “Isabelle,” “James,” “Valérie,” or the others, out there. Although the main characters are based on actual people, to reword an old disclaimer, “The names and various facts have been changed to protect the innocent.” And, in addition, one might add, perhaps the, uh, not so innocent.
I have been graciously granted a couple of years to spend my time focusing mostly on this project. The third novel in the series, Distances: Atlantic Lives, 1996-1997 is out now. I hope you enjoy all of the books, and that you discover some new friends of your own within its pages.
And if you use Twitter, follow me – and make sure you @ me to say “Hello.” :-)
I’ve also got a new “About.Me” page. We can never have enough “social media” it seems. ;-)
All the best,