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First of all: yes, I am standing in a clock face. My book jacket photographer, Beowulf Sheehan, had the brilliant idea of shooting in the clock tower of Cooper Union in Greenwich Village. All history is about the passing of time, and as a bonus the light streaming through the clock reminded us both of 17th century Dutch painting. Anyone looking up at the clock from East 7th Street at 5pm that day would have seen my shadow between the hands of the clock.

I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school: fiction and non-fiction, books, stories, poems. After college I worked for a science textbook publisher and a small management consultant company that concentrated on technology firms. I got a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins and then a position as a professor at St. John’s University. All of these jobs allowed me to write. But I always had the dream of writing books that told fascinating stories about real men and women and painted vivid pictures of past times. Now, to my delight, I’m doing that—and, after twenty-one years as a professor, I’m doing it full-time, having retired from teaching in the summer of 2017.

I live in New York City and have an amazing son who writes all the time, a wonderful husband, close friends, and lots of interesting, passionate, and curious readers. I am very lucky indeed.

To see more author photos by the super-talented Beowulf Sheehan, click here.