I was born in Tennessee but grew up in a small town east of San Francisco. Summers were spent living out untold (and, to adults, untellable) adventures in the yellow oak-sprinkled foothills of Mt. Diablo. The oaks, though, along with the walnut orchards down in the valley, have all been leveled to make way for the great suburban migration. My family was part of that migration, but an early part, thus a part on the edge. Our house bordered wildlands. We kids, at least those so inclined, had access to a world of magic and dreams. Now the small towns in the valley have all grown together into one borderless mass. Only the profile of Mt. Diablo, the steady pole of my childhood's inner compass, remains.
I grew up intellectually, but not academically, inclined. That is to say, I studied, but rarely what was assigned at school. I scraped by, only really finding my place years later in graduate school. I pursued linguistics, after discovering that Language - not literature, not foreign language, but language itself - was a window on the human mind. I built my career in Japan on that, first as an English teacher, much later as a teacher of linguistics and American history. I've been in Japan over thirty years, now, raising a family and becoming rather Japanized in my ways. I've kept tabs on America with both the intimate understanding of an insider born there but also the perspective of an outsider. Dual sight has, I believe, been fruitful.
In any case, after 9/11, I applied my insider-outsider perspective to a search for answers to that tragedy. The result was first Globocop and then the first three volumes of an envisioned five or six volume history of America, a history written from a constitutionalist, somewhat libertarian, and always (I hope) sympathetic point of view. The great American experiment is in crisis but not yet buried. This is, I hope, my small contribution towards reviving it.
I have published a number of "real" books and academic papers in Japan dealing with language and English learning issues. The four here on kindle, though, are self-published. Many thanks to Kindle-Amazon for opening the world to indie writers.