Readers have asked . . .
What started you writing?
I've been writing since I was 7 years old. Storytelling is in my family and in my blood. My father was a playwright, my uncles were humorists, one of my aunts expounded on family history. I saw early on how telling stories brought people together, to listen, to share. Those were my happiest times as a child.
Career-wise, besides writing for newspapers, magazines and radio, I come out of a television background and another one as a consultant in highly-charged courtrooms —the former allowed me to interact with the most advanced storytelling technologies and with other gifted craftspeople, and the latter allowed me to more fully experience the twisted maneuverings and brilliance of the human mind.
Every experience is worth reflection, but many of mine have been hard to keep inside, punching to get out, punching to be told. So much is fascinating. I guess I write with the hope that I'll learn more about myself, about others and why we’re all here, and most of all, how I/we can be more compassionate.
Why did you choose to write about this character?
So much of my writing is intuitive. I seem to be a conduit for a greater source and Eunis was born this way, as a sweet kind of surrender. She came to me, as did her strengths and demons and everything about her history and locales, as a mythic character that I was compelled to bring forth. Then I fell in love with her —not because of her perfection but because of her imperfections, which we all share.
But why write about a woman?
Why not? We are all mixes of the feminine and the masculine. Women write male characters —Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), to name a few— and many men have written excellent female characters (recently Ian McEwan, John Green, Anthony Doerr). We’re people first. And isn’t it about time we drop the gender stereotypes? I think we all can have insights about each other, male or female.
Why write about rural Minnesota?
I’ve been lucky enough to live in or around major cities and rurally. The differences are profound and tantalizing. Both have so much to offer. Like my character Eunis, Bemidji came to me and so I went to it. Anyone who has lived in a small-to-medium sized town can appreciate the spaciousness it provides, allowing people of often contradictory philosophies to live together in harmony. That’s been my experience living in rural Montana. Bemidji is a wonderful town —and it has its edges. Bringing Eunis from her rural life to New York City (with its edges) was as much divination as the rest of the story, and it provided an excellent opportunity for her growth.
So much in your writing seems factual. Is this by design?
Absolutely. What would have seemed fantasy only a few years ago, is very real today. Not only technology but what we understand about the cosmos and our own powers, is expanding daily. I purposely weave in actual places and their histories, current procedures and research, as well as the next step in human development and psychic awareness because we are learning and creating so rapidly that nothing should be considered unlikely.
What’s more, the connections to the past are manifesting in the present and will in the future. We may not fully acknowledge our deep, deep roots, but everything from the use of psychotropic plants; epigenetics and other natural and scientific revelations are coming at lightening speed. Eunis is very real to me, and she fits into the extraordinarily dynamic world we all inhabit where everything that is real cannot necessarily be seen or felt through our fingertips.