On my father's side, I'm a distant relation of Henry David Thoreau (Torode and Thoreau are alternate spellings of Thorold, a family originating on the Isle of Guernsey). On my mother's side, my ancestors include Texas farmers, preachers, outlaws, banjo players, and Cherokee Indians. My novel, "The Dirty Parts of the Bible," reflects both sides, combining religious/philosophical exploration with a quest to Texas.
A few of my favorite storytellers are Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, P. G. Wodehouse, John Kennedy Toole, Flannery O'Connor, Ray Bradbury, Sue Monk Kidd, and Garrison Keillor.
In philosophy I'm a Transcendentalist, and my favorite thinkers are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Joseph Campbell, and Rupert Sheldrake.
My latest project, an album of jazz standards -- "Someone to Watch Over Me" -- is available at www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016K6D8NI