After growing up in an immigrant/lumbering/fishing town on California's Mendocino Coast, and after college in Sacramento and San Francisco, I headed to Colorado to teach high school and work on my M.A. in Denver University’s Writing Program.
In the late 80’s, I wrote plays for Denver’s legendary Changing Scene. That led me to develop plays produced in Arizona, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Alaska, then off-off Broadway in New York. A scholarship sent me to London to study theatre, where a jealous-love murder threat in our dorm inspired the fictionalized events of my first novel, Nothing Gold Can Stay (Alyson Books, 2000, published as Casey Nelson to avoid embarrassing my fellow students and teachers).
In the second novel, Love and Genetic Weaponry: The Beginner's Guide (Alyson Books, 2009), I explored a completely fictitious Hitchcockian-paranoid-romance set among very real Western landscapes. The idea of the amateur sleuth fascinated me, especially my protagonist, Ray O’Brien, a young teacher forced into the role of accidental detective. He must solve the mystery and defuse danger using only his everyday wits and evolving insights into human nature.
Like my character, I have found myself in the midst of a role I never predicted—accidental mystery writer. But I’m at work on the third novel in the series, Fresh Grave in Grand Canyon, which gives me a chance to explore more of what I love—whitewater rafting and the canyon’s surreal geology—and develop another romance interrupted, of course, by murder.
Au Bon Pain
Web research leads Denver magazine editor Gabe Mangan to rediscover his first boyfriend, lost decades back and now a renowned scientist. Their story unfolds in new emails and old memories until they actually reconnect, and Gabe finally learns the true reason for their cruel and sudden break-up.
The Archbishop Comes for Gabriel
Gay editor Gabe Mangan confronts raw power after he protests the exclusion of lesbian friends’ child from a Catholic preschool. He launches a series of emails with the Archbishop and, following sabotage, must face the Archbishop’s ruthless homophobia.
Postcards from Condi Rice
As an airport security representative, Gabe travels the globe in the wake of 9/11. As a hoax on his boss, he composes phony postcards from Condi Rice. only to discover he may be on the receiving end of a much more complicated and dangerous deception.
Half in Love
In Paris, Gabe Mangan runs into a former college friend, Angela. Despite her engagement, he falls “half in love” with her, then escapes to Barcelona and smack into an affair with an aging male model. Yet he can’t escape from what he felt in Paris.
Forgive Me, Father
Grad student Gabe Mangan hurries home to his parents’ working-class suburb, sure his cancer-stricken father is already dead. On his way, he agonizes over his father’s destructive role in Gabe’s romance with his African-American boyfriend.
Straight People and Their Problems
As college senior Gabe Mangan struggles with his crush on one of his male roommates, a party girl appears from the basement apartment. Even as the girl discovers she’s pregnant via the dissolute rich kid downstairs, Gabe becomes entangled with her. He finds his first sexual opportunity awaiting, as well as his first serious chance to prove his decency.
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