Place is central to my work. For me, place means my ancestral lands. My father's people spent the 1800s moving through the South, finding work in the cotton fields and sharecropping wherever they could. When Dad was 13, they settled in New Mexico near the Texas/Mexico borders, becoming ranch hands, oil hands, horse traders, game wardens, fur trappers and sheriffs. Dad was our town printer.
My mother's people were pioneers who came in wagons across the Oregon Trail. My great grandfather had the last blacksmith shop on the Trail, and my grandmother homesteaded the town of Sparta, where my mother was raised and which is now a ghost town on the Oregon historical registry. I was raised between these two worlds, which were more similar than they were different.
When I was eighteen, I came out of the closet and at twenty-one moved to Los Angeles and eventually New York City. My world changed completely. It is from these contrasts--between rural and urban, traditional and progressive--that my stories spring.