Other than “Where do you get your ideas?,” the question I’m most often asked as an author is, “Why do you write?” Since I come from a practical-minded Upper Midwest background, the real intent of that question is to say, “Why are you wasting your time writing books when you could be doing something practical and useful?” My answer is twofold. One, I’ve been given a gift and it’s a “sin” not to use that gift to its fullest extent. Two, beyond perpetuation of the species, story-telling is the main purpose of humankind and the most practical and powerful skill of all because it affirms our unique position on this planet. We tell ourselves and others tales every day of our lives. Most are mundane recitations of daily living (“Jimmy skinned his knee, the boss is a jerk,” etc.}; a memorable few are grand tales of love and murder and conquest and selfless devotion. Every song, every poem, every story – no matter of how small or great – allows us to explore the complexities of being human. So, the answer to the question “Why do you write?” is that I’m part of a proud tradition that began when the first campfire lit up the night and chanting crept up the sky with the flames.