“What were you thinking?”

Although often followed by words of encouragement — even admiration — this is the look that normally greets me when I explain my decision to write. Walking away from a successful business career to be an author is swimming against the current. I’m sure I’ve given the same look to others who’ve made similar choices. But as the publication of Birthrights (the first installment in my Revisions to the Truth series) nears, I’m pleased with the path I’ve chosen.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write, to create. I’ve told friends, colleagues, even recruiters (albeit unwisely), that I planned to one day pursue this passion. My rational side, though, always countered with “In your free time” or “Maybe once you retire.”

I’m an engineer by education — a helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer for my fellow Yellow Jackets. You can imagine the weighting I give to that rational voice. But my experience in China strengthened my resolve.

For ten years, I split my time between Hong Kong and Mainland China, helping to build and run a factory making electronic components. As we grew from zero to more than 1,000 employees, my drive to create was sated. Through late nights and early mornings, I labored to imbue the company culture with the values I hold dear, hoping to leave behind a lasting legacy.

Then we were acquired. In mere months, the large-corporation bureaucracy undid much of what I’d worked so hard to accomplish. The business was theirs. The changes were perfectly within their rights. But the soul-sucking ordeal of observing my creation dismantled left me aching to produce something more permanent.

I quit. I returned to the U.S. And I started writing a story that had been rattling around in my head since university days. Fortunately, the cultures I’ve encountered during my travels have seasoned the tale. I hope my readers enjoy following Whym, Quint, and the other characters as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing them to life.