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Nick Taddeo lives in Pasadena, California, and is the author of five novels.
I served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and returned with a strong desire to get back into the flow where I could make my own choices and seek opportunities to live a full life. I believe I've captured a great deal of that struggle in The Afghan Tiger.
My first experience with making wine came when I was about ten or eleven. I helped my father press what he called Michigan and California grapes in our cellar. Breathing the strong aroma issuing from the fermented must and taking a few sips of the purple juice caused me to stagger around half intoxicated until I could get out for some fresh air.
I didn’t know at the time I would develop such a strong interest in the process and the people involved. Pouring from any bottle brings an endless variety of tastes depending on the winemaker, the soil, the climate and forever, the grape. So out of this interest I have managed to write two novels, Night Wine and Anna's Passion, and yet I go on studying the subject and tasting the wines.
My love of animals has been one of life-long interest. When I was a youngster and first saw a caged lion pacing back and forth in a tiny cell at the Detroit Zoo, I knew something was wrong. I couldn't let go of that image. Even today, I run because a sense of unrestricted movement connects me to the freedom which a wild animal needs to survive.
For the novel Tinnemaha Creek, I camped, hiked, and studied the Eastern Sierras, consulted with Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and wildlife specialists to raise my awareness of the dilemma which confronts both humans and wildlife struggling for survival in that beautiful tumultuous slice of the American West.