I started my formal education in England which gave me a leg up when my parents finally settled down on Long Island, farther and farther away from New York City. It also made me a little lazy until the University of Pennsylvania sent me a wake up call that class attendance did count.
After a tour of duty with the National Security Agency, I earned my master’s degree at San Francisco State University, and then was probably educated beyond my intellect, graduating with a doctorate in several fields from the University of California at Berkeley. It was there I developed my interest in creative writing, then choosing a career in university teaching resulting in five books and many, many articles. I eventually abandoned that career in favor of high-level academic administration and management consulting. As a consultant I helped establish the MysteryNet website. This involved analyzing thousands of in-depth online questionnaires from site subscribers, including their reactions to weekly “Solve-it” mysteries. I contributed several such stores along with a group of writers—including the legendary Bill Pronzini—while learning the do’s and don’ts of creating true mysteries in a thousand words.
Approaching retirement, I was part-owner of a television station where I was concerned with everything from the evening news to commercials and the scripts for contract films, while hosting over two hundred live and taped features.
Now retired for good, I am following through on my interest in creative writing with three novels in the Charley and Mel series. Charley’s Cruise is the first one to be published, with Charley’s War and Charley’s Tenure complete and to follow.
In my writing I try to keep in mind something I learned years ago in a Berkeley seminar hosted by the Polish-born novelist, Isaac Bashevis Singer, who received a Nobel prize in literature. When handed a written question to rank several attributes needed to write marketable fiction, with a twinkle in his eye the silver-haired gentleman crumpled up the paper and good-naturedly tossed it to the floor, replying: “My friend, when I sit down at my typewriter I have but a single thought in mind—tell a good story.” And, that’s what I try to do—tell a good story.
Smart-mouthed ex-NYPD cop Charley Adams and his wife Mel’s dream vacation on one of the world's glitziest cruise ships turns into a nightmare when Charley agrees to head a team to investigate the death of a drunken, womanizing politician. With a mass media circus and onboard paparazzi providing front-page coverage in supermarket tabloids, the team wades through as colorful a list of suspects as ever sailed the high seas. Plagued by shipboard disappearances providing alternate solutions to the mystery, the team faces an ethical dilemma of massive proportions. Much more than a literate oceangoing puzzler, Charley’s Cruise faithfully recreates a ten-day Caribbean cruise with the fun-in-the sun atmosphere of the cruise ship at times in sharp contrast to the desperate straits of some of its passengers. Going behind today's headlines it provides a fictional but all too real look at the unreality that is contemporary cruising.