The son, grandson and great-grandson of journalists, I grew up in a family saturated with glorious, if often shocking memories and tales of bygone Cleveland. Reading was the most intense obsession of my childhood, and it remains so. A tormented and mortifying puberty added rambling amid graveyards and pondering human tragedies to my preoccupations. At the tail end of a much prolonged adolescence and too many wasted years in academia, I decided to become a librarian, for lack of a better alternative and because it was the best opportunity to be around books and the people who love them-- without having to put up with intellectuals as a class. Some twenty years ago, arriving at the sere and yellow leaf of middle age, I realized I had not yet become the celebrated Cleveland writer I'd always yearned to be, and so I decided to get cracking. I knew nothing about writing, save the clichéd caveat to "write about what you know," so I decided to recreate the crimes and calamities of my beloved hometown. Six books containing over 140 stories ensued, not to mention sidelines as a lecturer and tour guide to scenes of Cleveland misfortune. A few years ago I moved to Vermont and soon after produced "Vintage Vermont Villainies," a collection of Green Mountain State slayings and disappearances. But my heart remains smitten with the romance of Cleveland dismalia, and I probably couldn't stop writing about it even if I tried. Indeed, I still possess an archive of Cleveland murders and disasters totaling some 15,000 items, so my stock of Forest City woe is unlikely to deplete any time soon. In the winter of 2011 I published "A Woman Scorned: The Murder of George Saxton - An American Melodrama," a full-length narrative of the mysterious murder of President William McKinley's playboy brother-in-law. It remains my all-time favorite murder tale. In August, 2011, I published "One Man's Mirror" (a collection of the columns of Samuel Jewett Kelly,a virtual history of Cleveland as told in the incomparable personal reminisences of a veteran newspaper reporter who knew everybody and saw everything during the city's most vibrant era.) My latest book, published in March, 2015 is "To the Bitter End," a full-length narrative of the most prolonged and violent disorder in Cleveland history: the 1899 Great Streetcar strike. In the works is "Wasted on the Young," a memoir of my tumultuous youth. If nothing else the latter will furnish a perfect illustration of a remark uttered by the late British comedian, Peter Cook. Famously alcoholic and frenetically self-destructive, Cook was asked towards the end of his life, during a radio interview, whether he had learned anything from his innumerable mistakes. "Why, yes," he replied without hesitation, "I could repeat them all exactly."