Lawrence G. Townsend

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A Novel About Cravings, Barbecue, and Software

Photo credit: Jim Marshall

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Secrets Revealed!

About the Chef:

Secrets of the Wholly Grill: A Novel about Cravings, Barbecue, and Software, (Carroll & Graf, 2002) is my first novel. Set in Silicon Valley, it's a comic look at the high-handed world of software and how consumers get, well, burned.

I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara. While taking a bachelor's in English, I felt strongly that an education in letters would not be complete without mastering a foreign language, preferably one that's both obscure and holds a compelling body of literature. Thus I enrolled in law school, receiving my JD from the University of San Francisco.

Both my parents' families have roots in California that stretch back to shortly after gold was discovered. The Gold Rush, you'll recall, marked the historic beginning for California—the onset for a state of widespread lunacy. With a history in my family—one that reaches back several generations to the 1860's in San Francisco—I too heeded a calling into the realm of intellectual property law. (While sounding completely mental, that's actually the name for my practice area in copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.) Over the last two decades I've been privileged to guide a long procession of publishers, advertisers, promoters, writers, artists, photographers, graphic designers, software geeks, technologists, dancers, gizmologists, gadgeteers, and yet more professional dreamers through the legal labyrinth.

I was born in Berkeley, California in 1951 and grew up with the benefit of both parochial and public education in nearby Piedmont. I graduated from Georgetown Prep School in Washington, D.C.

Currently I am concocting a new chef-d'oeuvre using a base of alphabet soup, i.e., a next novel's in the works. I live in Marin County, California. E-mail me: @

Secrets of the Wholly Grill
...skewers the software industry in a satire about a class action lawsuit that spirals out of control. Kirkus Reviews calls it "the perfect gift for everyone who has ever cursed Windows," and the San Jose Mercury News warns that it's "Carl Hiassen let loose in Silicon Valley."

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