I grew up—and learned to write—in Providence, Rhode Island, where my father was a Professor of English and my mother was a Trustee Emerita at Brown University. Our home was a place where words mattered and comedy was king. If you couldn’t say something well, you probably shouldn’t say it at all.
From there, I went on to Amherst College, where I spent most of the last two years writing fiction (and drinking whiskey) under the tutelage of novelist Robert Stone.
At the same time, I began a lifelong immersion in the study and practice of religious and spiritual traditions.
After college I spent four years as a publisher’s representative for Avon Books. Subsequently, I compiled, edited, and published an art book of the letters and drawings of Paul Reps who helped introduce Zen Buddhism to the west in the 1930s.
In the early 1980s I began a career as a freelance copywriter, eventually owning a regional advertising agency. Simultaneously, following a long-term fascination with fragrance, I co-founded a soap importing company named after the dissolute poet Charles Baudelaire.
In 2001, realizing that I was approaching 50 years old and still had places to go and books to write, I sold the agency, and began working on my own writing, including books about history, spirituality, nature, and psychology. In the process, I have done the kinds of things that every serious writer of my generation must do—including traveling the country in a VW Van and having a nervous breakdown. Both of which have provided a wealth of material for my writing.
I live with my wife Wendy O’Connell in Vermont, where, whenever we get a chance, we visit our grandson Julian who is already an avid reader.