Having migrated from South Jersey with my wife, Carol, and our daughters, Meg and Kate, nearly seventeen years ago, we remain in Newport, Rhode Island, firmly anchored in our adopted home town. The exotic specimens of trees, which sea captains brought to the island (Aquidneck) throughout the years, are constant sources of fascination, frequent implants in my works of fiction.
I began writing fiction when I was eleven years old. The notion - "suspension of disbelief" - was utterly foreign.
At Stockton State College, I acquired a degree in literature (graduating summa cum laude - perhaps at the top of my class, though I never bothered to find out). Afterwards I attended Penn State University in State College, PA, pursuing a degree in comparative literature (but, alas[!] ran out of funds).
I so loved driving through the "Seven Mountains" outside of State College that I mention it in Finding Christmasville.
For twenty years I was employed as a controller/director in hotels and casinos(including eight years with the Trump Organization in Atlantic City and four years at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut).
For several years, I winged it as a consultant with long-range clients - the Atlantis property on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, a restaurant chain in Atlanta, GA, etc. OK - enough.
In 2004 I started writing fiction again, steadfast in my determination to complete my first novel, Christmasville. The project required four years, writing the novel between 4:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. every morning, driving afterwards (on weekdays) the seventy-one miles to a hotel outside of Boston, where I was a hotel controller. The second novel of the trilogy, Finding Christmasville, was released for publication in December of 2012. I expect the final volume of the Christmasville Trilogy, tentatively titled Saving Christmasville, to be published by the fall of 2014. In addition to the three volumes which comprise the trilogy, a fourth book, A Brief Memoir of Christmasville, and alluded to in Finding Christmasville, will also be published shortly thereafter. The Memoir reveals Lars Neilson's nostalgic remembrances of a town and culture wholly entrenched in the Main Street traditions and values that preceded malls, Internet and global economies.
Completion of Dexter Dexterious (Emperor of the House of Cards), which is a fictional distillation of my experience in the Machiavellan / P.T. Barnum / Franz Kafka / E.M.Esher arena of casinos - "a metaphysical comic book" - will not be finalized until the Christmasville Trilogy and the Memoir are completed.
"The Notion of Zero," appeared in Hopewell Publications' literary anthology BEST NEW WRITING 2007. This story, as well as eleven others and a single one-act play, will be available in the foreseeable future as a literay collection, under the title Empire.
As a final note, I would add two items:
Of all my endeavors and accomplishments, objectives and aspirations - all pale in the immense joy that my daughters bring to my life.
Secondly, in this age of titanium, limitless greed and more i-devices that we know what to do with, the virtues of compassion and humility are grossly under-stated.
Influences (in no particular order): Julio Cortazar, James Joyce, Philip Pullman, Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner, Italo Calvino, Claude Simon, Jeanette Winterson, Albert Camus and Jean Genet. (Globally, I guess that seats me somewhere in the Azores.)
Thank you for reading and ... have yourself a pleasant day!