My most recent book is the nonfiction memoir DEATH IN SLOW MOTION (HarperCollins, 2004--Now available as an e-book on Kindle, with a new final chapter unavailable in the print edition!), which grew out of a Harper's magazine folio piece (Oct., 2001) of the same title. The book got great reviews, the kind of reviews I hungered for, most of them praising my "wicked black humor" and "bleak honesty" and such. The book was published in Italy, Germany and Japan as well. My website, linked below, has all the reviews, complete.
In Oct. 2004, Mother Jones magazine published my article "The Way It Was," about my experience with pre-Roe abortion (also linked here), and in 2006, MJ published a short piece of mine called "Gore Wins!" (with a fabulous grisly illustration). The article was about the politics of horror movies and stories. I could easily expand that into a book as well, and probably will.
My career as a professional writer goes back to 1988 and the publication of THE COURT OF THE LION (Wm. Morrow), an historical novel set in T'ang Dynasty China, coauthored with Daniel Altieri. After that, we collaborated on DECEPTION, also set in T'ang China, and then on SHANGRI-LA, the official sequel to James Hilton's LOST HORIZON. All our books were critically acclaimed and published widely all over Europe; DECEPTION became a bestseller in Germany (DIE EISERN KAISERIN) as well as in France and Spain.
I'm at work right now on a novel set in present-day and 1890s Wisconsin. It has everything I love--serial killers, loony bins, mistaken identity and love gone wrong, plus plenty of my "wicked black humor." I'm also at work on a book about pre-Roe abortion, but with an angle that nobody's pursued before--I talk about great writers (Faulkner, Hemingway, Parker, Sartre and more) who wrote about illegal abortion in the far distant pre-Roe past. It's a way to refute the revisionists extant today who are saying that the bloody stories from the pre-Roe era are mere propaganda. My premise is that we call great writers "great" because they tell the truth, even when they're writing fiction.
I'm a card-carrying baby-boomer, a member in good standing of the largest Peter Pan experiment in the history of the human race. I was born in Connecticut, migrated west to Boulder, Colorado, where I misspent a good part of my youth (but had a lot of fun), and now I live in Mendocino, CA, where I landed a job at a local radio station in 1980, writing weekly "human interest" stories. This basically meant I could write about anything I wanted, and did: Male strip shows, interviews with backwoods eccentrics, spoofs and satire, etc. I did all my own radio engineering, including sound effects and "actualities." This was when I discovered that I could write on command, meet a deadline, and get paid. "Hey! I'm a writer!"
I warm up for writing by reading great writers: Cheever, Flannery O'Connor, Brian Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford. I'm interested in all that's strange, unorthodox, irreverent. I once wrote a tongue-in-cheek "singles ad" as a sort of antidote to all the wimpy "loves-to-walk-on-the-beach"-type ads. Mine said: "SWF, connoisseur of the absurd, the macabre, the bizarre, and subterfuge, but chokes up over 'brave dog' stories. Once rode the 3rd largest rollercoaster in the U.S. under the influence of LSD." All true.
Old medical books. Strange photographs.
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