When asked how to prepare to become a writer, Gustave Flaubert reportedly said, “First go build accounting software for ten or twelve years.” Some have suggested Flaubert’s advice may have been mistranslated but I have elected to follow it literally.
I grew up in New York and graduated from Harvard before moving to San Francisco twelve years ago to take a job in the technology industry. I began thinking about what would ultimately become Arkadelphia almost from the moment I arrived on the West Coast. The novel was in part prompted by questions that have intrigued me since college – how does consciousness work? how free does free will really make us? – and reading the scientists and philosophers who studied these questions only served to confirm what I suspected: no one really knew.
So, in some sense, Arkadelphia is my attempt to work through these questions. More than that, though, it’s a story of betrayal and love and ambition and nobility and murder and sex and destiny. It was nearly twelve years in the making and I am damned proud of it.
I now live in a Bay Area suburb with my wife and two daughters. I have started work on my second novel, as yet untitled. When not writing or telling my daughters to put down the iPad, I play drums in the original country-rock band The Fireflies and an upcoming production of Shrek the Musical, with the aforementioned daughters gleefully playing various ogres, goblins, and other monsters.