Biography

Born in San Francisco and a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, I’ve always been closely connected to my roots—which is unusual in California. Both sides of my family have long histories here.

My mother’s family goes way back to Gold Rush days. A Victorian house built in 1884 as a wedding present for my great-grandmother is now a historic landmark in Oakland. My maternal grandmother—who inspired some of my writing—was born in the house. In 1933, my paternal grandfather was called to Oakland as minister of the First Congregational Church. My parents met and were married in that church. I am still a member today.

I grew up in Berkeley and attended public schools there. I recall at an early age being intensely interested in history, politics, and social issues. I was ecstatic when, at age twelve, I garnered Adlai Stevenson’s autograph when he appeared at the Claremont Hotel near my home.

I earned my undergraduate degree at Stanford, began law school at UC Hastings, then took a leave of absence to work as an administrator at the Germany campus of Stanford University in Europe. When I returned to the States, facing the prospect of the draft, I decided to enlist in the Army. I enjoyed my service and ended up staying in the reserves for many years. When I finally finished law school, I was commissioned in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) in the U.S. Army Reserve.

My first civilian job was as a deputy district attorney in the East Bay. Much trial work and several years later, I tired of criminal law and shifted my focus to business litigation, which I still practice today. In the late eighties, I was approached to run for a position on the school board in the district where my children attended school. I was elected and served a four-year term, experiencing firsthand the political process that has always fascinated me.

In the middle of my legal career, I also became interested in acting. Over the course of several years I performed in commercials, movies, television shows, and plays. My agent told me she thought I’d been drawn to acting as a way of developing the creative side of my brain. I think she was right. The character work required for performing evolved naturally to my next creative passion—writing fiction.

Today my true joy is bringing to life characters who grapple with the significant issues of our time. One issue that has long intrigued me is the role of women in our society, inspired by my maternal grandmother. She was a wonderful artist but never developed her natural gift professionally. Every time I look at her paintings, I’m aware that in a different era she might have achieved professional success through her art.

I am the father of three grown children. Happily, all my children—and my siblings as well—live here in the Bay Area. The connection to our roots continues.