I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Reading was my escape from the legendary Buffalo winters and probably contributed to my becoming a writer.
While I was in graduate school at the University of Buffalo I began writing poetry, some of which was published in small literary magazines. The first sentence in Realities – My children are gambling – was the first line of a poem that grew into a novel. It was gratifying to see Realities published, not only in the United States but in England and Sweden, where it was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.
The idea for a novel can come from anywhere. The Last Season, The Story of a Marriage, started with an image of three middle-aged adults sitting at a dinner table, a married couple and an unmarried man. When the husband asked the man what his intentions were, the fellow replied, “I intend to marry your wife.” The image was a gift, and I had to run with it.
When I start a novel, I know the beginning and the end, but I have only a vague idea of what might happen between the start and the finish. For me it is an adventure, as I hope it is for the reader.