History fascinates me, particularly historical events that shape who we are. It has a major impact on my blog posts and stories, and it's a fundamental theme in The Psalter. When I read a novel, I want to be entertained, of course, but I also want to learn something historically, philosophically, or be provoked. Umberto Eco's character opined in The Name of the Rose, "Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn't ask ourselves what it says but what it means..." That's what I ask when I read a book, and when I write, I want it to mean something.
In high school, I was an exchange student in the French countryside, and heard about a medieval religious forgery, likely created in a monastery north of Paris in Corbie, not far from Amiens. I read the research over the years, and realized how dramatically it shifted church supremacy, in a dramatic power play that changed the church forever. It was that religio-political fight I wanted to write about. After I sold a business, I took some time off. That hiatus gave me time to reflect, and it dawned on me that if I didn't try to write a novel, I would never know if I could.
I live in the Sierra Nevada's and spend a lot of time in Paris and Normandy. I have a degree in French literature and admit to being a closet banjo picker.