A native of Brooklyn, New York, I attended James Madison High School and New York University. Creative writing was always a major interest, and I took several courses at both schools. Inducted into the army after a brief time at the New York Daily News, I was fortunate to get assignments that let me further develop and use what I had learned.

After marrying my beautiful wife, Evvy, and in need of a steady income, I went into the insurance business. The brokerage office I joined had a clientele that was a colorful mixture of old world and new, including several businesses owned in part by the family of Meyer Lansky, who was our customer for a time. For the many years I worked there, first as an employee and eventually as the owner, I continued writing for my own enjoyment and to take further courses in the various skills required.

If you want to study the skills required in storytelling, nothing beats the sudden talent evidenced when a client reports a claim. Even the dullest among them can be ingeniously creative when there is money involved. I learned a lot from them too.

In September 1993, while recuperating from back surgery, I started crafting the story that became the cornerstone of “Public Parts.”