I took the path less traveled, starting as a boy in the deep canyons of the big city, then moving to a career in agricultural research. After high school, I attended college (Cornell) and graduate school (UC Davis). After a stint in the Army, I spent 46 years in research on the genetics and breeding of lettuce. One highlight- Development of a lettuce variety that was the most widely grown in the world, a product of hard work and serendipity. I also published over 100 research articles, including two books on leafy salad vegetables. I retired in 2003, and moved from the world of science to the world of make believe: writing novels.
My ambition to write fiction was activated in high school. I wrote two short stories for the school’s literary magazine, The Magpie. This ambition was put on pause through college, grad school, and career. It revived when I retired and resulted in my first novel, “The Departments.” It is a story of academia, especially academic intrigue and politics, with science as a background theme. A faculty member resigns from one of the departments. Immediately a feud develops between two groups within the department that disagree over what the nature of the position should be when refilled. Another conflict develops when two other departments also wish to fill the vacancy. The university’s new president joins the fray, wishing to make his own statement about the future of the university. The interdepartmental conflict is resolved by the Board Of Trustees, and the feud is settled by the action of a faculty member, who also finds a way to mollify the losers.
In future writings, the same forces will probably influence me: science, including science-fiction, and academic politics. I am also interested in the influence of our genes on our personalities and character.