What an amazing journey my career as a novelist continues to be! I am excited for the third book in my Pirate of Panther Bay series to come out soon, taking Isabella and her pirate crew from Cuba up the west coast of Florida to New Orleans. This is a direct sequel to "Tortuga Bay," a novel of pirates and international intrigue set in the 1780s (the years leading up to Haiti's slave revolt). "Tortuga Bay" snagged several gold medals and first place finishes in literary competitions sponsored by the Florida Writers Association and Florida Authors and Publishers Association. It was named a Finalist in the 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, ranking in the top 10% of the more than 1,200 titles submitted for review.
I have written hundreds more than 150 articles and commentaries during my two-decade long career as a public policy researcher, analyst, and novelist, but no form of writing captures my interest and passions like books. I love the "long form" of storytelling, and books provide the format and freedom to take my characters down paths my initial idea or outline could never have imagined. I find this especially true in fiction, but it's also true for my nonfiction. Writing is a process, and as a writer, I allow my creative juices to be energized by the journey.
My articles have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and professional media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN.com, Los Angeles Times, Reason magazine, and National Review. I have appeared on NPR, CNN, CNBC and scores of other radio and television broadcast news shows.
My middle-grade novel "Renegade," a empowerment tale of kids facing school violence with a martial arts theme, won 2nd place in the children's chapter book division of the Seven Hills Literary Competition, a nationally competitive contest.
I have traveled extensively in my full-time job, giving speeches, lectures and workshops in dozens of cities in the U.S. as well as Europe and Asia. (I've been to China & Hong Kong more than 30 times since 1992). I have traveled to 42 U.S. states and 100 U.S. cities.
Professionally--my "day job"--I am the Director of the DeVoe Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences at Florida State University in Tallahassee where I also teach classes in urban planning and urban economics. I am also a senior research fellow with Reason Foundation in Los Angeles, where I founded the urban policy program in 1997.
Educationally, I earned my B.A. in economics-public policy from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, my M.S. in applied economics from Wright State University, and my Ph.D. in public policy & management from The Ohio State University. I also spent two years in the doctoral program in economics at George Mason University where I was a Bradley Fellow in the Center for Study of Public Choice from 1989-1990.