I'm the only child of parents who were (among other things) a school librarian, a television engineer, civil rights activists, and fans of reading and music and good talks with interesting people. We didn't have money, but my folks always made sure I had books and time to read them, freedom to speak and people to talk to. I was lucky.
I jumped class at age 14 by leaving home to attend an elite prep school in New England; among other things, being a scholarship kid among the very rich has made me equally comfortable in dive nightclubs and five-star hotels. I have a BA& in Theatre (acting) and the typical writer's spectrum of work experience, including a stint of guerilla theatre in a bikers' bar, syndicated radio program co-host, freelancer on television production crews, restaurant dishwasher and corporate vice president. It's been interesting.
I attended the Clarion Writers' Workshop in 1988 and began writing in earnest. I published six of the stories in Dangerous Space between 1990 and 1998: the title story is new, written especially for the collection. I've been fortunate with the stories. They've done well critically—been shortlisted for the Nebula, the Tiptree, and won the $11,000 Astraea Writer's Award; been collected in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, translated here and there, and adapted for television.
My novel Solitaire (HarperCollins/Eos) was published in 2002, and was a New York Times Notable Book; a finalist for the Nebula, Endeavour and Spectrum Awards; and a Border Books Original Voices selection. A movie based on the novel is in development now with Cherry Road Films.
The novel and most of the stories in the collection were written while I worked a series of corporate jobs. When Nicola and I moved to Seattle in 1995, I landed at Wizards of the Coast, the games publisher responsible for the Magic and Pokémon trading card games, and the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. I eventually became the vice president of Project Management at Wizards, building a team of 26 people responsible for managing the development process of 250 products in more than 20 languages worth $600 million in annual revenues. It was fun, and a lot of it shows up in Solitaire.
I'm a staff writer for @U2, the world's top-rated U2 fan website. In 2005 I waited in line from 6:00 AM (several times in different cities) to be in the front row of a U2 Vertigo show. Amazing experience, worth every sore muscle the next day. Music at its best is an ecstatic experience for me, and seeing it happen from eight feet away is...well, if you want to know how it is, read the story "Dangerous Space."
What else? I love to talk, listen, eat, drink, and dance. I'm a junkie for music and film and reading, and stories strangers tell on trains. Anything with story. I look for joy. I think people's experience carries more weight than any theory in the world. I have little use for people who can't play nicely. I'm conversationally competent in American Sign Language and polite but unskilled in French. I've never taken a bungee jump, but I'm working my way up to it. I think we can almost all do things we think we can't do.
I'm very lucky to be able to write full time, and right now I'm deeper and harder in love with writing than I've ever been. More about that here and at my website, where I also maintain a conversational space called Virtual Pint. If you like to talk and listen and trade stories, come visit anytime.