Author Bio

My writing career began in high school with the California Boys’ State newspaper.  In college, I wrote and edited for The Stanford Daily, then worked for three years as a newspaper reporter in Texas and New Mexico.  I set writing aside for a long detour into business.  Family tragedy brought me back to writing in 1999, and I’ve been doing as much writing as possible ever since.

A memoir  (working title Free the Sorrow, unpublished) emerged from the family tragedy, and researching the Italian half of my family for that memoir generated speculation that turned into a historical novel titled In the Mouth of the Wolf (complete, seeking representation).  Several essays derived from the memoir have won prizes and publication.  In 2011 and 2013 I received grants from Artist Trust and USA Projects to support research to complete In the Mouth of the Wolf.

On location in Piazza Unita, Trieste

In the Mouth of the Wolf is loosely based on the lives of my grandfather, Umberto, and his brother, Amedeo and is set in the cosmopolitan port city of Trieste.

At the end of World War II, when the brothers are in their 50s, Yugoslav Partisans take over the city from the retreating Germans.  A wave of revenge killings surges through Trieste.  When Umberto becomes a target, Amedeo finds himself in a position to save him.  There are two big problems:  Umberto has refused to speak to Amedeo for 20 years, and just making the attempt could cost Amedeo his life.

My life (so far…) has been far less harrowing.  Raised in Pennsylvania, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and California, I’m a dual US-Italian citizen, speak four languages, and have lived in way too many places.  Since 2011, I live in a restored 1910 dairy barn on a two-and-a-half-acre apple orchard on Vashon Island, near Seattle, in the company of my beloved, her cats and my black lab, Jessie.  My family is as far-flung as my roots:  My father is retired in Switzerland.  My mother is retired in California, with my sister, her husband and one nephew nearby.  My other nephew lives in Fort Collins, CO.  My aunt lives near Philadelphia and my only two cousins live in New Jersey and Washington D.C.  My children, for whom I am eternally grateful and to whom I dedicate my work, live in the Seattle area.