About James

James SniechowskiJim was born and raised in a Catholic, working-class family in a tough Polish enclave (some called it a ghetto) in southwest Detroit. His grandparents arrived in Detroit from the fields and farms of Eastern Poland remaining true to a medieval sense of religiosity with its strict demand of obedience and the peasant’s lifestyle.

From boyhood on Jim struggled with his growing awareness of the brutality Old World Catholicism imposed on him and everyone in his community, the lower class life they were compelled to live, including the alcohol they consumed to dull the pain they endured, and the reproach they suffered should anyone consider resisting or, even worse, leaving.

Jim, nevertheless, resisted and he was continually kept on the “to be watched” list by the nuns and priests at Our Lady Queen of Angels, his parish and elementary school. His rebellion went full force during his early teens when he joined the Royal Lancers, a local street gang.

After graduating from The University of Detroit High School, a Jesuit based college prep school, he attended the University of Detroit where he discovered the theater. After receiving rave reviews for his role as The Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie he was off to New York to study at The Neighborhood Playhouse and then on to a fifteen year career as a stage actor. Jim’s deep interest in character led him to a PhD in Philosophy and Psychology and now to writing novels.

An Ambition to Belong is the second book of Jim’s Leaving Home Trilogy. Its focus is the infusion of early life impressions and experiences that create a mindset and lifestyle unconsciously framed and driven, gripping and holding anyone without them knowing how or why. To mature into a self-possessed and fulfilling life the unconscious bonds that make up the base of our initial child personality must be broken, left behind, freeing us to grow into the adult conscious character by which we conduct the rest of our life.

Jim’s deepest desire is for his readers to experience the real world identity struggles of his characters, and be moved to examine their own internal driving forces—for the betterment of the life they are creating every day.

Jim lives with his wife Judith Sherven in Northern California.