I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up mostly in Ypsilanti. Have also lived in Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Went to the the University of Michigan to study aerospace engineering but ended up with a theater degree. Did some theater, decided to start writing, went to Clarion in 1993. Then off to grad school for a Master’s in English at the University of Maine and then a Ph.D. at the University of Denver. Somewhere along in there I started publishing short stories, then a novel…and now I can look back on nearly twenty years of published and produced work, with occasional visits to best-seller lists and translations into a dozen or so languages. What a ride.
I’ve been living in Maine since 2002, for the last nine years in the crooked house that gives this site its name. It’s 170 years old and contains two adults, four children, two dogs, a bird, a snake, and a variable number of other life forms.
I was on Jeopardy! in 2015 and won a game. Should have won a second, too, but I overthought Final Jeopardy. Thus I am technically a Jeopardy! Champion. I was also on an episode of Top Chef once with a group of other New England writers, ostensibly to play some kind of literary detective game with the dishes. Then the producers cut all that stuff out. The food was good, though.
Opinions: Baseball and soccer are better than other sports. Looney Tunes are better than other cartoons. 99% of writing advice can be discarded in favor of careful reading outside your comfort zone.
Complete list of everything I’ve published is here.