I was born in Brooklyn in 1951, the second of three children. We lived in a three story walk-up in a lower middle class neighborhood. At the time, Ebbets Field was still the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, children scurried under desks during air raid drills, and America was the hope of the world – still is, in my opinion. I recall New York’s steamy summers filled with stick ball games on city streets, chattering neighbors sitting on stoops, and a neighborhood dominated by rather benign gangs by today’s standards, called the Halsey Tots and the Halsey Bops.
The sixties came and so did the Kennedy assassination and the 1964 New York State World’s Fair with its promise of a ‘great, big, beautiful tomorrow’ where technology and science would solve all the world’s problems. I can remember visiting the various exhibits from GM, Ford, General Electric, Pepsi, and other U.S. companies and thinking surely by 2013 there will be flying cars.
In 1966, after the New York Journal American, the last Hearst newspaper in NYC, folded, my father lost his job and we all left Brooklyn for the hills of San Francisco. I attended high school at St. Ignatius on Stanyan Street just two blocks from Golden Gate Park and not far from the corner of Haight and Ashbury. I ran cross-country and track and interrupted workouts in the park to listen to Grateful Dead and Doobie Brothers concerts taking place in the meadows and polo fields for free.
After high school I attended U.C Davis for half a year then in 1969 dropped out to enlist in the Marine Reserves. It was there that I learned to shoot an M79 grenade launcher, M60 machine gun, M16, a 3.5 rocket launcher (bazooka), mortar, and a .45 automatic. I spent a lot of time blowing stuff up, and have to admit it was pretty fun.
The 70s ushered in more changes when I moved down the Peninsula to Silicon Valley, joined the Mormon church, attended college again, and started my career in IT. Since then, I have lived and worked on three continents and conducted business in over 45 countries. If my books have an international feel, you can thank my employer and Kim, my South African wife, for that.
Brooklyn is my birthplace, but like most Americans, I have moved around a bit, and have also lived in California, North Carolina, Washington, Idaho, South Africa, and Switzerland. I still have a home in Idaho and Zurich, and, maybe not so surprisingly, my books try to blend both those locales together. Einstein’s Trunk takes place entirely in Switzerland, but my hero, Rulon Hurt, is a humble Idaho cowboy with a wry sense of humor who, surprisingly, has adjusted quite well to living in Zurich. A Thousand Suns begins in Idaho but then moves to Zurich for the second half of the book.
I currently live and work in Zurich, Switzerland with my encouraging and ever-resourceful wife, Kim. We love Zurich. At least twice a week we turn to each other and say, “It’s going to be a sad day if we ever have to permanently leave this place.” Zurich is a mixture of old and new with its steepled churches, cobblestoned streets, and its ultra chic shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse stretching a mile from the main train station down to the Zurich Lake. Just like Idaho, it’s a wonderful backdrop for a thriller.
I hope that you enjoy reading Einstein’s Trunk and A Thousand Suns as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Zurich, January 30, 2013