I was born and raised in Oregon. My great-grandfather and grand-mother homesteaded there in 1872, so in a way my current novel—perhaps a lot of my writing—is concerned with how the present has been shaped by the past and various immigrants. Also, one grandfather came to Oregon via California from up-state New York, and to fund his travels to Oregon from Sacramento (an ironic name in this case) he founded “God’s Religious Army.” Holding tent meetings along the route, he relied “upon the kindness of strangers.” However, near Grants Pass his wife died, and this is where he met and married my grandmother. On the other side of my family, we came from Sweden and Estonia and . . . so, I am also interested in the ways that fortune brings families together, tears them apart, and then reconstitutes new families out of the old: the past in the present again.
I am also a Vietnam veteran and curious about the ways military experiences a long way from home work their ways into our society, for good or for ill.
Under all these interests and curiosities, though, is a deep concern about the future of our environment, which has borne the brunt of the transplanted ideologies our ancestors brought with them as they immigrated here looking for “The Promised Land.” How, I would ask, can we avoid the damage done by short-term desires meeting an ecosystem based upon stability and change that takes place over long periods of time?