While I was a Fulbright Scholar to Russia, I came to love the Russian people and their culture, and I hoped their country would join the Western democracies. Then Putin came to power, and my hopes, which so many shared, were soon dashed. Subsequently, I studied the nefarious influence that the Russian government and the Russian mob, Bratva, began spreading across the globe, but particularly in the United States. Now, my research focuses on how democracy is being dismantled by authoritarians in my own government.
In my other pursuits, I used my Ph.D. in Language, Rhetoric, and the Theory of Composition as a professor at Ferris State University in Michigan. I taught linguistics and a variety of literature and writing courses, including persuasive and technical writing; and I helped plan the University’s approach to online learning. A colleague and I owned a consulting company that delivered writing seminars throughout Michigan, and we wrote a column about writing for an area business journal. I live deep in the north woods, caring for my rescued animals and writing novels.
I used Joseph Campbell’s hero cycle to conceptualize Sleight of Eye: A spirit helper, a frightening vision, and enemy tricksters inform this tale of a hero who survives a perilous journey to reach his fulfillment and then returns to his origins with human helpers powerful enough to save his society.