I am a cum laude graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where I earned a Master of Arts degree in English (American Literature). I earned my Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University.

My interests are primarily American fiction, especially ethnic and minority literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

In graduate school, my studies focused on eschatology in American literature, specifically in post-World War II literature. I also studied Cold War literature, such as the works of Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs.

Some additional literary interests are American and Cultural studies as well as science-fiction/fantasy.

My personal inspirations include: J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, and Conor Oberst.

I currently work as a free-lance essayist and creative writer, and I am a full-time Academic Advisor for a private University in Illinois.

Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy music, movies, upside-down hearts, and yellow birds.

“Where did the name ‘Roof Beam Reader’ come from?”
Great question!  The motivation behind My blogger (and Twitter) name comes from one of my biggest literary inspirations, J.D. Salinger.  One of my favorite of his works is a novella titled, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters.  Thus, the “Roof Beam” aspect of my blog name.  Reader is pretty self-explanatory – I love to read!