About me

Photo snapped by my wife. Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts.

Hi! I'm Rob, and I'm honored you've stopped by my store. There are a million authors out there, and millions of great stories to choose from. But you came here, and I thank you for that!

I love writing, and I love reading. I don't think any writer worthy of the title would argue that in order to write stories people want to read, you need to learn the ropes. 

I cut my teeth on novels by Jules Verne, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jeffrey Deaver ... the list is endless. They all have one thing in common; they made me want to keep turning the pages. 

My books, I hope you'll find, do the same thing. I'm not saying that to pat myself on the back. I say it because I want you to realize I went in with the intention of making the books I write into something I'd want to read.

I like fast-paced books. I want a book that threatens my morning routine because I struggled to put it down and go to sleep. I think a good book should take you away for a while.

A really good book should make you forget about the real world and live within its pages. Maybe cause you to realize that burning smell was dinner, and now the only place open is the twenty-four hour convenience store down the street. You know, the one with the hot dogs on rollers and the sad looking chicken nuggets in those bags with the see-through plastic windows? 

Okay. Yes. Been there, done that. I admit it. 

Great books, though. Great books will make you bang out of work for the day. Maybe two days. Possibly with flu-like symptoms and a third day tacked on, just to make sure. I mean, it would be wrong to come in to work and threaten the health and welfare of your coworkers. Right?

Am I saying my books are of the third kind? I hope you guys think so. But I'm okay with sending you to the convenience store for those nuggets or that nasty, puckered up, four-hour-old hot dog. If I've done that, I've done the job. Just don't forget the Tums!

How I became a writer

My witch fiction series is called the League of the Moon. There are four books and a prequel novella in the series so far. Number five is slowly but surely taking form as I write this. It's an Urban Fantasy series set in the witch city of Salem, Massachusetts.

I could have written about anything, I suppose, but there's always been something about Salem that just draws me in. If you've ever been there, you might have felt it, too.

The first time I ever set foot in Salem was on a class trip when I was in the sixth grade. We went to a place called Salem Willows. It's an ocean front park in the northeast part of the city, named for the European white willows dotting the park. People dealing with smallpox in the early 1800s would walk in the shade of the willows. 

I have a vague recollection of stepping off the bus and feeling overwhelmed. At the time, I didn't realize what the feeling was. It was déjà vu. In French, the words mean "already seen." Looking back, I can't think of a better way to describe it. 

I wouldn't set foot in Salem again until I was eighteen. 

After finishing high school, I was scheduled to attend Franklin Institute in Boston. I was going to study computer science. At least, that was the plan. I'd gotten some scholarship money and the rest of the financial aid was taken care of. I was all set - on paper, anyway.

Where my head was at was another story. And, to make a short story even shorter, I wasn't ready. I told my mother I didn't want to go there. I felt terrible about it, but something about the whole thing just felt wrong.

Intuition can be a bitch sometimes.

So, after taking a year off, I decided to give the college thing another shot. My aunt Karen was a teacher in my hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts. Auntie Karen was the cool aunt who let us play in the dirt. From what I hear it drove my mother batshit, but in a good way.

My aunt always raved about where she went to school - Salem State College - and it always stuck with me for some reason. Echoes of the Willows? Maybe. Fate? Possibly. Also, it was a state school - i.e. affordable - and I wasn't exactly drinking champagne and wiping my ass with hundred dollar bills.

Salem State here I come!

The moment I drove my car over the Marblehead/Salem city line, I got that déjà vu feeling again. It stuck with me throughout the entire day of sign up and orientation.

One memory from that day, though, is still crystal clear in my mind.

I was in line to bring whatever the required paperwork was to a small booth at the end of the hall. There was a beautiful blonde woman, dressed in black, seated behind a wooden door with an open window. It was one of those doors you'd see at a night club where you check your coat. Anyway, as I approached, I realized it wasn't just her physical appearance I was attracted to. Remember, I was eighteen at the time, so we're basically talking about a walking, talking hormone with feet. There was something else about her. Something other. Something Salem

She wore a gold pentacle on a chain, and I asked her about it. "I'm a witch," she said, smiling. That was my introduction to the real Salem, and I thought it was just about the coolest thing ever. Cool as it was, I guess I still wasn't ready. 

I lasted half the year in Salem State. I dropped out. For the longest time, I regretted that decision. I beat the hell out of myself about it. I got a job I hated. I drank my lifetime's allotment of booze from then until the age of twenty-three. I came out the other side, eventually. Battered, bruised, and stark raving sober. I got the help I needed. I've been clean and sober since September 24, 1991. 

Nothing will make you embrace the spiritual side of life like sobriety. I met some great people who helped me along the way. There's a term people use for those that are newly sober. It's called "White Knuckle Sobriety." I'd probably still be white knuckling if it wasn't for the people placed in my life. 

In 1993, slightly over two years into trying to live the clean life, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I did not drink. I cried out of fear. I prayed. I meditated. And I went to meetings with a bunch of anonymous people. Wink. 

I walked through the fire and came out the other side. 

Since then, I've read a lot of books. I quit a job I hated and started working as an independent contractor. I loved doing that job for the longest time. It was nothing complicated, just doing deliveries and being outside all day. I'm not a sit-behind-the-desk kind of guy. I'm still not. Except when I write. 

By now, you're probably wondering about Salem again. How does this all play into my books? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In 1998, I met my wife. Our first date was nothing fancy. We had a quick dinner and spent the night talking on the beach. That's what we do; we talk. A lot. One thing she told me was she grew up in a haunted house, which surprised me, at first. Then fascinated the hell out of me.

The supernatural has always fascinated me. Well, both of us. So when she suggested we take in "Haunted Happenings" in Salem, I was all for it. We've been going almost every year, right up until Covid-19. 

All the old, familiar feelings with Salem kicked right back in.

2018 was the year it finally happened.

Most people figure out what they want to be at a young age. Others don't find that calling until later in life. I fall into the second group. For years, I'd always mentioned to my wife, and my sister Susan, I was thinking about writing a book. They would invariably say "Then do it." They took me seriously. I didn't. But they kept after me about it. 

We were at "Haunted Happenings" in October of 2018, and my wife wanted us to get a psychic reading. It seemed like a fun thing to do and I was totally down for it.

We picked a table where a very sweet lady was doing Angel Card readings. When she greeted us, she smiled and asked what we'd like to know. My wife brought up the book thing again. The reader shuffled the cards, then laid them out one at a time in a square pattern. The image below is what she drew.

I apologize for the quality of the image, but at the time I never thought I'd be putting them in a bio on my writer website :)

From left to right, they are captioned "Birth. Stay True To Yourself. Editor. Inspiration." 

Those cards sealed it for me. I started writing my first book, "In Your Dreams," that night. 

The main character of the series is Henry Trank. He's recently moved to Salem to start a new job. Henry's starting to notice things about Salem. It feels eerily familiar to him for some strange reason. Like maybe he's been there before.

I can relate.