dropcap_I was raised in the nice suburb of Marlboro, New Jersey. Whatever the reason, I was quite the slacker growing up and was often in trouble. Then it turned around. I graduated with honors from Manhattanville College (a good, little liberal arts college near New York City) and went on to get masters degrees from Rutgers and Northern Illinois, with various honors both times. Despite generous fellowships, I always worked in grad school, teaching History and English. A professor encouraged me to put in for something called the Presidential Management Fellowship, and I filled out the application without ever understanding what it was; it landed me a job inside the Department of Health of Human Services. Almost twenty years later, I am still a health policy wonk having a great time trying help a stressed health care system work a bit better. (Click Wonk is Know Spelled Backward to get the specifics.) But I never lost my interest in history, and continue to research and write about the American Revolution.
I have finally published a full blown book on the subject: The American Revolution in Monmouth County. Getting the history book published was cool, but my string of journal articles paved the way. I was less sure if I could write a good novel; two failed attempts in my 20s suggested I couldn’t. But some things get easier with age. A Thinking Man’s Bully, a tough look at an aging bully trying to turn himself into the father his son needs, was published after something like a hundred re-writes. My third book, The Razing of Tinton Falls, combines my historical research on civil warfare during the American Revolution with my fondness for biased first person narrative. My newest book, Saving the Hooker, is the story of an errant scholar with a common male weakness–a thing for hot, fallen women. It is also my first chronological novel and (dark) comedy. I wrote it in only nine months–maybe I’m getting better at this author thing. I keep writing across different genres and interests. It is a pompous menagerie of different thoughts and interests, and I appreciate that so many people have found my words worth their time.