I grew up in Sonoma County, California, mostly in the tiny town of Forestville, near the flood-prone Russian River. I started writing m first novel when I was 12, and discovered journalism at 17. I haven't stopped writing since then.
I studied journalism at the Santa Rosa Junior College and received a bachelor's degree in sociology from UC Berkeley. In my late teens, I discovered the online world -- first BBSes, and later Usenet, IRC and the rest of the Internet.
I have been a regular staffer at a number of college and professional news outlets, including The Daily Californian, The San Rafael-Terra Linda News Pointer, The Redwood City Daily News, the San Francisco Examiner and Law360. In addition, I have written for The Guardian, The New Yorker, USA Today, Mother Jones, Wired, Poynter, PopMatters, the San Francisco Chronicle, the SF Weekly, Addicted to Noise, Bay Area Music, Bikini, ROCKRGRL and Invisible Oranges. My poetry has been published in Tertulia, Terrain, Centaur, Dispatch, Hot Metal Press, New Verse News, Bardsong and Lime Green Bulldozers.
I am the author of several books, including The Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Pastimes Got Caught in the Crossfire and Why Teens are Taking Them Back; Beloved, a novel; Sacred Sonoma: Sacred Sites and Alignments in Sonoma County, California; Read the Music: Essays on Sound; and Dream Brother. I've contributed to several other books as well.
I keep an irregular blog here on this site, and occasionally post pieces on Medium and the Huffington Post. For a few years I blogged at Backward Messages, examining howa handful of teen interests, including violent video games, goth culture, heavy metal music, and paganism, can be a healthy part of growing up.
I have lived all over the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently live in San Francisco.