Welcome to my author’s page. I write books of adventure and fantasy for readers aged 8 to 108 (in other words, anyone who likes adventure and fantasy). I have a lot of books still to write but I want to give special thanks to my publisher, Mary Nickum of Saguaro Books, for helping me to get my writing into children’s hands.
A little about me. I was one of those precocious kids who was curious about everything and therefore I wanted to read everything: novels for adults, stories for teenagers, collections of classical myths, histories, biographies, essays of philosophy and more. If this makes me sound like I was living life in my books, in fact, that was not true. Newport, RI of the 1960s was a magical place to explore, with old neighborhoods filled with Colonial-era houses, seaside mansions from the Gilded Era, sandy beaches, rose-filled dunes, craggy, shoreside cliffs, hidden bays, deserted islands, endless woods and fields dotted in summers with patches of red and black raspberries. Sure, I was often reading but I spent as much of my free time roaming the length and breadth of Aquidneck Island, playing in the woods, fishing from harbor piers, sailing in the choppy waters of Narragansett Bay, catching crabs, snorkeling, swimming and, to make some money, caddying and shining shoes at the Newport Country Club.
From all these activities, it’s not surprising I developed a love of adventure. Later, during my years of higher education, I studied archaeology in Italy and Greece and law in England. While working for an Outward Bound school, I helped run ski mountaineering trips in New Hampshire and bicycling trips in Canada. When I became a new lawyer, I was fortunate to get assigned to a global fraud case in England and later, over the past several decades, I’ve had the best job in the world, serving as one of two directors of Sounds of Hope, Ltd., a nonprofit presenting concerts performed by young singers aged 10-16 from countries around the world.
My Writing Goals:
All my stories invite readers to experience wondrous worlds with rich characters. If I have an overriding goal, it’s to tell exciting stories with life lessons for young readers. My first book was a middle-grade fantasy about a Woodsy Troll-girl able to recognize and name species of trees, animals and birds while living in harmony with nature.
My second book was a young-adult fantasy chronicling the adventures of a 14-year-old girl from small-town Iowa who, after discovering she’s not bi-racial but bi-universal, finds herself on a new world with far different social norms. Kirkus Reviews calls the story a “rousing series opener with equal portions of action and social commentary.” Midwest Book Review says: “Risks, battles, and the evolving powers of a teen who is at once human and light guardian create the riveting story fueled by Neffie’s strong personality and life’s lessons.”
My newest creation is a middle-grade mystery with fantasy elements set in the jazz-infused, racially segregated world of 1937 New Orleans. I love the main character, 12-year-old Nelly Melcham of Chicago, who encounters an extraordinarily tiny, London detective on his way to solve the mystery of a woman abducted by ghosts. Nelly ends up in the middle of an adventure that’s going to change her life. It’s the kind of story I love to write, one of personal discovery of the kind every child should experience while growing up.