Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Visited 2008. A purchaser's paradise - regardless if your preference is premium or perverse. Never was much of a shopper.
One of my favorite travel destinations. The order and structure of the day complement the whimsy of the night and mix well with my own dualistic nature.
Visited in 2008 & 2011. It's true what they say about Australians – they're a lot like Americans - just nicer.
Visited 2008 & 2011. During my first trip I learned one of the most valuable travel lessons: Sometimes a map in your back pocket is the only icebreaker you need.
Born six weeks premature on June 5, 1970. First and last time I was early for anything. Although the time in the incubator allowed me to understand life from a chicken’s perspective.
Port Clinton, OH
Spent entire childhood and adolescence. Graduated from high school in 1988. Received my only B in shop class. Damn candlestick. Torn between pursuing Math or English education. The right/left brain conflict was born. Being a 17 year-old male, I chose Math because it was easier I wouldn’t have to grade long papers. Silly me.
Worked several summers from 94-97 while teaching junior high during the year. Contrast and similarities between lifestyles spawned idea for Outside In.
Attended Miami University 1988-1992. President of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Received BS in Mathematics Education only to realize writing was my true passion. The right/left brain battle wages on.
Hilton Head, SC
Worked six weeks in a T-Shirt shop post graduation from university during the summer of '92. Responsibility got the best of me. Decided it was time to grow up and get a real job. Big mistake. Work as any more than a hobby is over-rated.
While visiting her parents, a friend gave me Joseph Campbell's A Hero of a Thousand Faces from her father's bookshelf. Turned out to be one of the most influential books in my life. Discovered mythic archetypes and Jung's collective unconscious.
St. Louis, MO
Taught junior high math and coached football 93-97 while working on a masters degree in American Studies from Saint Louis University. Spending time at the Arch and the Westward Expansion Museum shaped idea to start Brad's journey at the Gateway to the West but have him escape into the middle of the country rather than the West.
Spent first year of post-teaching life 97-98 with intention to write but partied instead. Variety may be the spice of life but consistency pays the bills.
Ann Arbor, MI
Escaped the Cleveland party scene to isolate and write 98-99. Bartended and waited tables to pay the bills. Led the service industry in drinks spilled on customers. Started doing corporate technical writing and project management. Learned creativity is born from structure and routine.
New York, NY
Lived on the Upper Westside '04-'07. Continued to market and rewrite Outside In. Amassed rejections. Learned the masochistic side of writing. A part of you must love the pain if you shall persist.
Las Vegas, NV
Currently residing since June '12 and working on new novel called The Investment Club about five broken people who meet at a blackjack table and discover the greatest return comes from what you invest in others.
São Paulo, Brazil
Visited in 2010. One of my top 3 favorite travel destinations. Brazilians are the perfect blend of the warmth of Latinos with the passion of Italians. Some of the best pizza and sushi I have had and any culture who created rodizio service is all right by me. More picanha? Yes, please.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Visited in 2010. Between the machine gun-armed guards at the entrance to the favela when went in and the samba instructor who suggested we have our private lesson at her home studio, I thought my adventurous spirit might have finally landed me in situations from which my return was questionable. The samba was definitely scarier than the machine guns…and probably more dangerous with my warped rhythm.
Key West, FL
Spent a series of spring breaks '91-'93. Furthered love of island culture and bolstered idea to spend summers at Put-in-Bay.
Lived five years '07-'12, falling in love with strength and independence of Norwegian women. Just don't piss them off. Inspired me to rewrite Astrid character with Norwegian roots.
Visited in 2011. Might be the most tolerant place on earth. The open social and moral landscape, flowing canals, history of the Anne Frank House, and creativity of Van Gogh Museum inspire one to let go, explore, and expect. This Kumbaya moment brought to you by the Amsterdam Coalition of Coffee Cafes.
Visited in 1987 and 2011. I was struck how seeing the same city pre- and post-wall demonstrated not only the possibility of cultural change within our lifetimes but also viewing it through two distinct and different personal perspectives reflected my own significant changes. Nothing is static.
Visited in 2011. My pursuit to become a professional flamenco dancer quickly went from emboldened to abandoned once I accepted I no longer had the hairline to support long locks, not to mention the hips or feet for it.
Stranded for six days during Iceland volcano ash cloud fallout in 2010. Subsisted almost entirely on Pastéis de Nata. Also learned the reason so many explorers and navigators hail from Portugal is because of the ease with which to get lost in the eyes of the Portuguese women.
Visited on three occasions from 2010-2011. A travel favorite. The food, the lifestyle, and the history - a perfect place to wander and get lost. Learned there is always room for gelato and subsequently the trick of lying spread-eagle on the back to lessen the impact of over-indulgence.
Visited in 2007. Stimulated by the Gaudi architecture and also surprised how uncomfortable the unconventional style makes people. An inspiration for each of us to find our own voice.
Visited in 2007. Mixture of Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic cultures along with influence of 80,000-student university and the presence of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background create an atmosphere of tolerance and inspiration. A great place to get lost and free your mind.