My specialty is narrative nonfiction, and I am drawn to stories about consuming passions, the natural world, and, particularly, the intersection of science and human experience; I like tackling complex or technical topics and making them accessible to a general reader.
I am a freelance writer, a contributing editor for Virginia Living magazine (for which I write the regular “natives” column profiling Virginia’s native flora and fauna), and I was previously a feature contributor for Washington Post “Weekend,” for which I wrote on topics as widely varied as adventure racing, old-time music in Floyd, VA, and the footloose life of the young, bright, and unattached in Washington, DC.
I am also the author of two books of critically praised narrative nonfiction, including Electric Dreams, a true story of long odds, underdogs, and an electric-car competition. Called “a can’t-miss true story reminiscent of Breaking Away,” in a Publisher’s Weekly starred review, Electric Dreams was a School Library Journal “best adult books for high school students” selection and was optioned for feature film.
I have been the Writer-in-Residence at Sabot at Stony Point School since 2013, and I formerly taught writing, editing, and literature at Randolph-Macon College.
With two degrees in English (BA, Williams College, MA, George Mason University), I favor the Oxford comma, Garner’s Modern American Usage, and National Grammar Day. I sometimes put two spaces after the period.
When I’m not writing, I like to be on my bike, in the pool — and, particularly, out in the wild as a competitive (relatively speaking) open-water swimmer, an obsession born of a story I wrote for the Washington Post. I’ve swum across the Chesapeake Bay and under the George Washington Bridge. (The image at left was taken at dawn, facing north towards the bridge, at the W. 79th Street Boat Basin, as we waited the start of the ((late, lamented)) NYC Swim 10K “Little Red Lighthouse Swim.”)