More About the Author
In 1973 after thirteen years in theatre I took a hiatus to do historical research in the Bahamas. I had no idea I would be writing books and plays based on that study. A famous novelist once said about life experiences, "It's all material."
Armed with a BA in Theatre from Barry University, I began as a drama teacher and play director. After three summers of study I earned a MA in Theatre from the University of Michigan in 1963. I directed professionally at the Barn Theatre and the Gaslight Theatre, in Miami, Florida.
In Japan I taught drama and directed plays at the Camp Zama Base Theatre for one year. Upon my return, I accepted a position as Historical Researcher for a land company on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, the place Columbus made landfall in 1492. I set out in pursuit of Columbus, pirates, and American Loyalists exiled to the Bahamas after the Revolutionary War. The Recession ended my job, but I remained hooked on the history of the Bahamas Islands. For ten years I chased those pirates and exiled Loyalists all over the East Coast of America, the Bahamas and England. I was intrigued by the Lucayan Taino people who settled the Bahamas long before Columbus.
In 1980, I met Bahamian Artist, Alton Lowe, at his museum in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco. I wrote the "Story of the American Loyalists" for a bronze plaque in his Loyalist Memorial Sculpture Garden and with his encouragement wrote Homeward Bound: A History of the Bahamas to 1850. In 1986 I went back to San Salvador with Alton to scout locations for his paintings. In 1991, MacMillan Caribbean published the result of our collaboration--my novella, The Lucayans, featuring Alton Lowe's postage-stamp paintings of the first people of the Bahamas, for the Columbus Quincentennial.
About this same time, Coral Gables High added to my teaching schedule an International Baccalaureate Theatre Arts Class. Coincidentally (or not) Alton decided to offer plays at Green Turtle Cay. The Crystal Parrot Players, a group I helped found in 1996, began to perform plays at Green Turtle Cay. Alton suggested that I write an original solo drama based on an island woman. Miss Ruby premiered at GTC in 2001. I wrote and produced two more solo plays and in 2010 published them as Bahamas Trilogy.
The pirate research found its way into two novels: Sisters of the Sea: Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Pirates of the Caribbean. Sometimes Towards Eden, a sequel to Sisters, follows Anne Bonny to Jamaica.
The experiences of my year in Japan simmered for thirty years, then in 2010 after five more years The Hour of the Tiger emerged from development hell onto the professional stage for its World Premiere at New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida (one block away from Gables High).
I live in Miami with Peggy C. Hall, a gifted poet and a teddy bear named Gus, who appears in Peggy's book In Case Of Bears. Gus also acted in the Crystal Parrot Players stage productions of Peggy's performance poetry, published in 2010 as Techno Poetry. Gus had told the story of his early years in The Greenbear Chronicles. He is now working on his second book. He keeps Riley Hall publications very busy. It is a wonder we get any other creative work done.