I was born in Los Angeles, a third-generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers. As an undergraduate at Reed College, I decided I wanted to become a historian. I was attracted to history, the sweep of events, the outsized personalities. Russian history was my specialty. I attended Keele University on a student exchange in Russian Studies, in pursuit of that field, when I woke up in the middle of the night on my 21st birthday, and realized I wanted to be a writer. What attracted me about history was the story, the characters, the writing itself. But I didn’t want to be an academic. I wanted to Live! I wanted to be Anais Nin, wear a cape and false eyelashes and have Henry Miller for a lover. It didn’t happen of course, Henry was dead by that time, but I became a writer.
Currently, I teach a graduate fiction seminar in the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing program, and after two novels set in Los Angeles, I’m deep into a book set during the Russian Revolution.