The name I was given at birth wasn’t Pepper, and it wasn’t Harding, and it certainly wasn’t Pepper Harding. However, I very much am Pepper Harding.
But also, I’m Michael Lavigne.
The secret of my pen name has been trickling out, so I’d like you to hear it straight from me.
I’m a Sonoma, CA. based writer by way of San Francisco by way of Chicago by way of New Jersey. I’m married and have two adult sons and I spent the better part of my career in advertising. A writer since my adolescence, I’m very proud of my first two books, The Wanting and Not Me, but they were darker endeavors with Jewish themes…novels wildly different than The Heart of Henry Quantum. And while I can be a thoughtful and serious fellow, I also am very much the same person that can send Henry through the streets of my beloved adopted hometown of San Francisco, musing about science, philosophy, his own foibles, sex and the one that got away. In fact, Henry’s fictional stream of consciousness style was based on very real conversations I had with friends…friends who encouraged me to write how we talked.
So why Pepper Harding? Harding is a family name, and Pepper – spicy and interesting – allowed me to disappear a little more into my new gender-neutral persona, freeing Henry from any pre-conceptions based on my other work.
Happy New Year from Michael and Pepper. Lavigne and Harding.