When not wearing my fiction writer hat, I practice consumer protection law in Washington, D.C. Rest assured your tax dollars are hard at work as I battle marketers of "modern miracles" like weight-loss earrings and penile-enhancing herbs. (Please let me know if you spot an ad for penile enhancement earrings.)
I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 with a degree in philosophy, which, surprisingly, did not qualify me for gainful employment. In short, it was on to graduate school. Well, almost. I spent a year touring with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. After that frolic and detour, it was a blur of law school, falling in love, cats, marriage, a dog, children, a fish, more dogs, another fish, a chinchilla, guinea pigs, and an assortment of uninvited rodents that have since burrowed through the foundation. Storybook.
I live in Kensington, Maryland with my wife, Laura, and two children, Stoney and Bay. Among my current menagerie of furry critters are a silver lab, Gracie, and a Boston Terrier, Beanie.
Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat (Book One of the Life Indigo series)
It’s the Jazz Age. Kasper Mützenmacher keeps a divine “wishing hat” locked in the wall safe of his Berlin hat shop. He’s too immersed in the city’s cabarets and smitten with the Jewish flapper Isana to care about the teleportation device that his ancestor stole from the god Hermes. But Kasper’s carefree life of fedoras, jazz, and booze comes to a screeching halt when he must use the wishing hat to rescue Isana from the shadowy Klaus, a veil-wearing Nazi who brainwashes his victims until they can’t see their own faces.
Years after Isana’s mysterious death, Kasper falls in love with Rosamund, who not only lost her face to Klaus, but may carry intergenerational curse of her own. She warns of Klaus’s plan to trigger a night of terror once he’s collected enough faces. Kasper dismisses the Nazi threat, until the government reclassifies him as a Jew. Then Kristallnacht erupts, and the Nazis begin loading Jews on boxcars to Dachau.
The wishing hat is the family’s only means of escape, but Klaus has taken it, and Rosamund has disappeared. Kasper must find Rosamund, get back the wishing hat from the notorious “stealer of faces,” and spirit his family to America. But Kasper’s family won’t be safe anywhere until they break the curse that has kept them in the hat business for sixteen centuries.
Book One of the Life Indigo series, Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat is a fantastical family saga about tradition, faith, and identity, told against the backdrop of the Jazz Age, the rise of the Nazi Reich and Kristallnacht, and the Detroit race riots of 1943 and 1968.