Beginnings, Middles and Ends
I grew up among the fields and forests of Alberta, Canada. The fields surrounding the trailer park we lived in were golden in the summer, and barren and buzzing with bees during the colder months, lying below a thick snow blanket that was indigo under the twilit moon.
Even at home I never felt at home, and so, at seventeen I left for greener pastures, settling in various cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Stratford and New York City. While in New York, I first worked at a bakery down on Hudson Street near 8th Avenue, which doesn’t exist anymore. My employer was a kind but rather brash lesbian who taught me new meanings of the word “friendship.” I still consider her one of my all-time friends.
My next job in New York City was at the United Nations, where I worked in various capacities, first as a messenger during the 49th General Assembly and even spending a year in Baghdad to help dismantle Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. After returning to the States, I matriculated at Brown University at 30 years old, one of only six adults older than traditional college age granted admission that year.
While at Brown, I garnered several awards in the area of art production, mostly in video and film. I seemed to have a talent with the written word that I had previously known but hadn’t really explored since my early twenties. During my twenties, I toyed assiduously with the idea of being a professional writer, but those dreams had never amounted to much. Later, at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, I directed, produced and shot the film At the Hands of Another: When Someone You Love Is Murdered, a one-hour documentary that incorporated harrowing personal interviews with family members of murder victims.
I have studied law, society, art, theatre and professional photography in Montreal, Toronto, Providence, Ann Arbor and New York City. But it became too clear during my years of higher education that my first love was writing. I have always fed my passions through involvement in book clubs and writing groups. Writing has served as the best vehicle for me to explore the trauma of homelessness, hunger, extreme poverty and illness, issues I have faced throughout my own adult life. I wrote my debut novel, Finding Max, in just 12 days. Which isn’t entirely true. (I have another book available for the Kindle platform titled The Searing. However, it is self-published, so I think of Finding Max as my debut non-self-published novel.)
I now live back in my native province of Alberta, on a farm east of the capital, Edmonton, with my wonderful wife, Ginette, and two extraordinary dogs, Dobby and Molly, who march to the beat of their own drum and are both named for Harry Potter characters. I love to walk with my dogs through the fields while feeling the sun on my face as it rises on the horizon in the delicious early morn.
Meet the Writing Team
It takes more than one to craft a novel into something worth reading. The author's work is not finished until the book is in hand, in black and white. At Finding Max Trilogy, we are a small team compared to what you might find some writers working with.
Word Wizard Extraordinaire/Editor
Here Alissa Stevens, Word Wizard Extraordinaire, can be seen in her natural state -- smiling. Though most of our conversations have all been via telephone, you can almost hear her smile through the phone lines because it is so vibrant, joyous and free. Just like Alissa herself.
Darren M. Jorgensen
Darren M. Jorgensen, author and chief head of the Jorgensen Clan, can be seen here smiling mysteriously for no apparent reason.
Pete Kaminski, who drafted the cover of Finding Max, likes to tell stories through visual means. The story he tells for Finding Max is quite stunning.
Molly "Dolly" Jorgensen
Chief Relaxation Officer
Here Molly "Dolly" Jorgensen can be seen snuffling in the grass, rejuvenating her own juices in order that she may adequately give back to those of us who need it.
Dobby "Monster" Jorgensen
Surveillance, Security and Safety
With a deceptively sweet disposition and a seemingly gentle demeanor, Dobby "Monster" Jorgensen here snaps a rare selfie, unknowingly watched by the rest of the Jorgensen Clan from the sidelines.