My embryonic writing career began in my early years (around eight) when I wrote a few short essays which were so gory I won't share them with you.  In recently rereading those gruesome little treatises, I concluded that I must be related to Charles Addams.   BTW, as an eighth grader I did send old Charles an idea for a ghoulish cartoon.  His response (via this postcard which is framed and hangs in the hallway of our home):


High school (New Trier on Chicago's North Shore) abruptly ended my writing career (at least temporarily) when I discovered ham radio, photography, competitive swimming and girls!


In my first three weeks of high school I came to despise Latinso I went to the library and tried to figure out a way of getting out of taking it.  From what I found, there was only one U.S. university that had a Latin requirement, Harvard.  Harvard, c'mon!  I was never gonna go there.  My grades wouldn't be high enough.  And anyway, only oddball eggheaded freaky guys went to Harvard.  I decided to drop Latin.


By the time my senior year rolled around I realized to my shock and disbelief that my grades were high enough for Harvard, something which forced me to change my perceived notion about oddball eggheaded freaky guys.  Suddenly they all went to Yale (which I firmly believe to this day!).  And by this time Harvard had dropped its Latin requirement.  I applied and was one of four accepted from New Trier.  Three attended, and two graduated.  I was one of them.  Unlike Billy Rosen, my protagonist in The Furax Connection, I didn't graduate summa cum laude (there were only six summas in my class); but I did graduate cum laude along with about ten percent of my class.  I loved Harvard and I'm glad I went there.  A great place.


After Harvard I was completely at sea.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I was accepted at two top medical schools but I really didn't want to become a doctor.  It was either law school or business schoolor actually getting a job and working.  Time to get my military obligation out of the way.


And so I volunteered for the draft knowing that I'd be going in the Army for two years as an EM; knowing that I'd pull KP, guard duty and CQ; knowing that I'd be meeting guys who came from entirely different backgrounds; and hoping that those two years would turn out to be a new, different, exciting and fun experience.  And maybe after they ended I'd even know what I wanted to do with my life.


That, BTW, is precisely the way things turned out.  Those two years in the Army were fun years.  As a military journalist stationed in Orleans, France, I became reacquainted with something I'd always loved, writing.  My two years in the Army reintroduced me to the real world and allowed me to discover myself.  Now I knew what I wanted to do:  I wanted to become a lawyer.


Thus began my legal career, first with three years at Stanford Law School followed by (i) the California bar examination, (ii) the Illinois bar examination, and (iii) a terrible mistakemoving back to Chicago from sunny California.  In Chicago I discovered that I passionately despised something even more than Latin, cold weather.  And so I returned to California.


After a series of law jobs, I finally decided to take the plunge and open my own office.  A pretty scary thing to do, particularly since I was faced with personal expenses as well as the expenses of running a law office.  Nevertheless, I did it.  I borrowed a folding table and a swivel chair, and I bought a used IBM Selectric typewriter.  I moved all this equipment and a telephone into a small office in a suite of law offices and, finally, I hired Miss Tilly, an elderly legal secretary, to work for me two days a week.  Now the big question:  where was the law business going to come from?


Don't ask me how or why, but legal work arrivedby the bucketful!  Eight years after I opened my law office I had twelve people working for me and so much work I could hardly keep track of it.  Almost all in the real estate field, with most involving condominium and planned development projects.


Reality now set in and my life narrowed:  lawyering, lawyering ... and more lawyering.  For over three decades until, finally, I retired.  And that's when I was able to return to writing.


In early 2001 I started Furax.  I finished it in August, 2006.  Then the tough part began:  finding an agent and a publisher.  It took almost 2-1/2 years until my agent introduced me to Fireside Publications; Fireside, in turn, made my dream of getting Furax published finally come true.


On a different note:  In 2006 I entered the Stanford Fiction Contest with my short story, My Auntie's Wedding, which was selected as one of three winning stories out of about 70 entries.


So where to now?  I'm currently busy doing something I've never done beforemarketing a book I've written.  Not easy.  When Furax first came out it received a glowing review in the GCA Journal (see Reviews), the official publication of the prestigious Garand Collectors Association (an organization with a worldwide membership of 14,000).  A good beginning.  From here, who knows?  All part of my unmapped (and exciting) journey as a writer.


Finally, it's completely appropriate that my first novel be about the military.  Claudia, my wife, and I revere our men and women in uniform.  We send care packages to a group of them almost weekly.  One of our most cherished (and priceless) possessions is this hat one group sent to Claudia: