I have come to realize how profoundly my family experiences have shaped who I am as a person, a teacher, and a writer. In researching and writing, Wrestling with the Devil, I was able to draw on my family experiences to accurately and authentically tell the story in my father’s voice. And in depicting the story in my illustrated children's book, Tino & the Pomodori, I was also able to relate my experiences growing up harvesting tomatoes and making tomato sauce every fall with my family.
I still live and work in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and my family has evolved and grown – the years bringing inevitable change. But even with the world racing by at a hundred miles per hour, I try to stay true to the simple values of my family’s humble beginnings: wholesome food, lovely red wine, and most importantly, boisterous, beautiful family.