I hail from Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, and graduated with honors from Harvard University, where I spent most of my time doing theater and secretly penning unfinished novels, although I was officially getting a degree in Comparative Religion. After that, go figure.
Moving to California, I co-founded a theater company for teens that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (featuring then 18-year-old Adam Scott). I was awarded a full fellowship to pursue a PhD in Drama at UC Berkeley, where I showed great promise at pretentious performance art. Before academia could entirely seduce me, however, I withdrew from the program and split the next several years between the Bay Area and New York City, eking out a glamorous living in theater, writing, editing, and temp work.
After winning an award for my screenplay The Winter Population, I somewhat recklessly moved to Los Angeles, where I spent a few years as a starving screenwriter and learned how to play the banjo (quite badly). Then during the worst case of writers block in history, I rediscovered the unfinished outline to The Fool’s Tale, which I’d begun at Harvard. I was about to delete it from my hard drive when I decided, just for fun, to see what would happen if I finished it instead.
By the time I’d finished the novel, I’d fled LA to return to the Bay Area to write my second novel. The Fool’s Tale was published to critical acclaim in early 2005, and Revenge of the Rose followed in 2006.
After a year and a half as Literary Manager/Dramaturg for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, I left the Bay Area and spent a while living largely out of a backpack, traversing the Mediterranean researching and drafting my third novel, Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade. Finally, after 20-odd years away, I moved back to Martha’s Vineyard. While writing I, Iago, I married the actor who had played Iago in a production I had helped to mount. His name is Billy Meleady, and he, in collusion with my Portuguese Water Dog, Leuco, inspired my most recent novel, Stepdog.
With actress Chelsea McCarthy, I co-founded Shakespeare for the Masses, a semi-insane troupe of actors who, with a single day of rehearsal, pull off gonzo script-in-hand performances of adapted Shakespeare plays. To our delight and bewilderment, we have developed a small cult following on Martha’s Vineyard, and hope to subject the rest of the nation to our work in due time. We are soon to start our 8th season, and have staged the majority of the Bard’s plays.