More About the Author
I don't think it's possible to sum up a life as fascinating, dramatic, and exotic as mine in a few paragraphs. This is why I've written an entire book about myself (and my dramatic, fascinating, and exotic, although now deceased father) which will arrive in September 2006. The book is called Life, Death & Bialys: A Father/Son Baking Story, and because it's more than 200 pages long, it will give you a much better sense of me than anything I can do online. I strongly recommend that you buy it. If you still have questions about who I am or what I stand for after you read it (more than once, if possible), then send me an e-mail and I'll answer all your questions.
Still, I have to say something, right? All right, fine. I was born in East Lansing, Michigan. I had no choice in the matter. That is where my parents lived at the time. Had I been asked, I would have preferred Paris, or perhaps Buenos Aires.
My mother wanted to do her psychiatry thing in the New York area, so we left Michigan in the late sixties and went to New Rochelle, a suburb half an hour north of the city, which was a fine place to grow up. Now, more than three decades later, I live in Oakland, California. A very strange and interesting circumstance is that three of my best childhood friends from the close-knit neighborhood where I grew up now live within a few miles of me in California. What does this say about New Rochelle? What does it say about California? I wouldn't dare to opine. I will say that I do not have fond memories of scraping the ice from the windshield of my mother's stationwagon at 7 a.m.
I once wrote a pretty good novel about growing up in New Rochelle, but I couldn't sell it. If you'd like to read it, send me a request at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll reply with the file. It's called The Kickball War, and if it had been published, I imagine at least one review would have called it A hilarious and touching portrait of seventies suburbia through the eyes of a kid on the verge of becoming a neurotic mess. Not that the book has anything to do with me, of course.
For most of the past 15 years I've been practicing criminal appellate law in the Bay Area. I've represented hundreds of defendants in all manner of post-trial proceedings, from drunk driving cases to multiple murders. I have never tried a case. I represent the convicted'in other words, everyone who calls my office has been found guilty by a jury and sentenced, usually for long periods, to state or federal prison.
(For a sampling of the cases I've worked on, go to http://dylanschaffer.com/legal_work.htm )
Now, along with my day job, I write books, as well as notes to my wife explaining why my income has dropped so drastically in the past few years. My first, book, which I still think was a masterpiece, was Dog Stories (Chronicle Books, 1997), in which dogs declaimed about the foibles of their masters; the text accompanies terrific photographs by the genius graphics man, Jon Weber.
Then I wrote a couple novels, including the aforementioned Kickball War, and my agent said, "I can't sell these; please get me something I can sell." So I wrote the first of the Misdemeanor Man book, and the very good folks at Bloomsbury bought it, as well as the sequel.
And then I decided to take a break and write about a subject upon which I am the world's expert, that is, Dylan Schaffer. Which brings me back to my new book--Life, Death & Bialys: A Father/Son Baking Story. You can find much more information about the new book in my blog, which I call my GLOB at www.dylanschaffer.com.