I was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin and read voraciously as a child. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Here’s my first author photo at age two.
Japan and Vietnam
I moved to Japan to work as an English teacher. From Japan, I went to Vietnam to research the tunnels my father explored as a tunnel rat during the Vietnam war. After my trip, I began writing about the experience. Each afternoon, I went up to the library and wrote a few pages by hand. These early pages would eventually become my first book, Falling Through the Earth.
Falling Through the Earth
Falling Through the Earth, a memoir about my relationship with my father is published. It appeared on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, whose editors chose it as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year, and was widely reviewed. A highlight for me was the legendary Maureen Corrigan reviewing the book on Fresh Air. Click here for more information about Falling Through the Earth.
I’ve been interviewed for radio and podcast dozens of times (see podcast links below), but my first recorded interview was on NPR about my first book. Listen here
After years of suffering from Francophilia, I moved with my family to France. We lived in Aubais, a small village between Nimes and Montpellier. Events that occurred here later inspired my memoir The Fortress.
Four years later, my first novel, Angelology, is published. Translated into over 30 languages, Angelology becomes a New York Times and international bestseller. It was featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review and was chosen as one of the Best 100 Books of the Year.
Angelopolis, the sequel to Angelology, is published and becomes a New York Times bestseller. Purchase Angelopolis here:
My second memoir about the breakup of my marriage, is published. I wrote the entire first draft by hand in six narrow-ruled notebooks while living in the West Village of NYC. Listen to this discussion about how the act of writing this book helped me find a way through it. Read an excerpt of The Fortress here. Purchase The Fortress here.
My tenure as a book columnist at The New York Times Book Review begins. Read some of my columns below: A Dark Cavalcade of New Horror Fiction Spine-Chilling and Flesh-Crawling: The Latest Horror Fiction
Together with my husband, Hadrien Royo, I developed a ten part sci-fi audio drama called CRYPTO-Z. You can listen to the whole thing here:
The Puzzle Master
My novel The Puzzle Master was released in June in the US, France, and Spain, with translations coming in fourteen countries. It was chosen for the CBS New York Summer Book Club with Mary Calvi, was an IndieNext Pick and an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Henrietta Verma, veteran reviewer behind firstClue declared that it was 'The best book I've ever read" (read her full review here.) I appeared live on CBS New York to discuss my book.