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Author of Uncommon Counsel

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My Story


I've been writing for my own pleasure for as long as I can remember. Like most writers, I enjoy writing the types of stories that I enjoy reading. In particular, I like to write character-driven stories that focus on ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances, often involving elements of society that are too often invisible. Sometimes those stories are told in a contemporary or historical setting, other times they may verge into the broad territories of fantasy or science fiction. Regardless of these details, any novel is ultimately an exercise in speculation and commentary, and a reflection of ourselves and our society, and mine are no exception.

Uncommon Counsel is my first published novel, and was born from National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo,  NaNoWriMo encourages everyone to tell their story by writing at least 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November along with many thousands of other participants. I have participated in NaNoWriMo for several years now and presently serve as the Municipal Liaison (ML) for  the Columbia, Missouri, USA region.  Won't you join us next November?

I firmly believe that we all have stories to tell, stories that reveal insights into who we really are and what we believe in. Writing, regardless of genre, is a journey of self-exploration. Publishing allows us to share that journey with others. I'm thrilled that you might get to share in my journey, and I hope that I may someday have the opportunity to share in yours. Whether you choose to write or express yourself in other forms, I encourage you to tell your story. After all, to quote Dr. Who, "We're all stories in the end.  Just make it a good one."

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Uncommon Counsel follows an eventful six months in the life Rip Taylor, told through his journal entries punctuated by medical and court records. Rip is a successful Colorado Springs defense attorney who loves opera, but is plagued by abusive voices and disembodied faces that constantly haunt him. Schizophrenia has been part of his life for years. Medications help, but at a cost—a trade-off his psychiatrist refuses to understand.

Rip’s only allies are Mara and Kala, a mysterious pair of jays who visit Rip and advise him about his cases. Other people see and hear the birds, but only Rip understands what Mara and Kala are saying. When Rip loses access to their advice, he unknowingly strays into an ethical quagmire and then must decide whether to act as his profession demands or to defend what he believes is a greater good. His choice ultimately kindles an unlikely partnership and sets a new direction for his life.

Told from a combination of journal entries and psychiatrist’s notes, Uncommon Counsel offers a refreshing new perspective on mental illness, and illuminates aspects of society too often shrouded in darkness.

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"Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it."

Bertolt Brecht

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Get in touch with me for more information about my publications and upcoming releases.  I'm also available for author talks to your organization, free of charge in Missouri.  I'd be happy to sell and or sign copies of Uncommon Counsel before or after the talk.  Question and answer sessions are welcome.  Media kit available upon request.

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