Looking back, it seems natural that I would become a writer.

Family dinners hardly ever focused on the events of the day in a factual fashion. Instead, we told stories.

And as my siblings and I grew older, the storytelling began to take on an air of one-upmanship. Who could tell the most outrageous story, while still making sure to adhere to at the very least the bare bones of the truth? Who could set the best scene? Who would be funniest? Which of us would have the most interesting characters as friends?

I set out to live an interesting life, for the sole purpose of having similarly interesting stories to tell. But instead of just telling them around the dinner table, or down the pub, I write them.

The same rules still apply as when I was a kid: the more outrageous, the more absurd, the funnier, the better.

So the books I write have characters like Darwin Jones, a Famous Artist in San Francisco driven mad by fame and prone to speaking in tryptich phrases. And a pair of knowing teenagers working in a movie house while their employer indulges in a midlife crisis. And a boy with Crohn’s disease who talks to pigeons. Most recently, there is a woman who hires a stalker.

The stories are life-like in that, the world, near as I have experienced, is always stranger than fiction.