I’ve been obsessed with the mind and consciousness since childhood. In 1998, I began to study psychology–especially dreams, memory and creativity–more formally. I went on to complete a Bachelors degree in cognitive science at U.C. Berkeley and a Masters degree in psychology at U.C. Davis, specializing in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory.
The life of a research scientist was intellectually exhilarating, but ultimately I found the constant drive to specialize—to narrow the focus of my life’s work—to be creatively draining. Worse, my experiences with academic publishing began to make me hate one of my great loves: writing. I decided not to complete my PhD and left graduate school to pursue writing (fiction and nonfiction), sculpture, consulting and teaching. I still love research, and hope to keep working in the field, but as a peon; the academic rat race no longer holds any interest.
My first novel, Oracles of Eden, is an adventure about a handful of heroes marooned aboard an abandoned space station and struggling to rescue humanity from annihilation. Far from being another hollow example of apocalypse pulp, this novel explores complex issues in human psychology:
- How much of our mind is really accessible to us?
- What is the connection between dreaming and waking consciousness?
- What’s the role of faith in the human psyche?
- Can we ever understand the perspective of a fundamentally alien mind?
Oh, yeah: there’s also nanotechnology, rogue moons, genetically-modified villains and much more!
Oracles of Eden is a two-volume work, structured a bit like a two-act play. Volume one is a fast-paced saga of conflict and transformation which takes place over a few weeks. Volume two begins five decades later. It follows old and new characters over seven years as they try to cope with with the unfolding ramifications of the events of the first volume. The novel is a bit delayed, as other arts and sciences keep distracting me from it, but it will be done… someday.
I formed Mnemo Press in order to provide a virtual community where artists and scientists who share my fascination with the mind can discuss and develop their work. They also share resources for publishing and selling their work—a considerable undertaking—so they can focus their time and effort on writing. If you think you might like to be a part of Mnemo Press, check out our Prospective Authors’ FAQs.
I’m also Editor-in-Chief of Mnemosyne, the aperiodic arts and literature magazine of Mnemo Press.
I’m a charter member of and active contributor to the Mechanics’ Institute Library’s Self-Publishing Working Group, an association of authors, editors, publishers and agents working together to keep abreast of the rapidly-changing world of publishing. I appeared on the panel of the Nano-Presses round table in March, 2011. A podcast of the event is available for those who missed it. I also appeared on the Off the Richter Scale panel discussing independent publishing on October 8th at the 2011 Litquake Festival.
When not writing, publishing or editing Mnemosyne, I sculpt in stone and steel, tutor K-12 and undergraduate math and science, offer consultations and training in learning skills improvement, and assist other authors in preparing their books for publication. I still dabble in neuroscience.