A New York City native and retired architect Don M. Forst graduated from the New York City High School of Music and Art and the Cooper Union School of Architecture.
A little insight into the author. He was a lazy high school student. But met his waterloo, with a second year English teacher. She failed him. Embarrassed, he forced himself to embark on an intensive reading program. Later resulting in his early twenties too became an avid reader.
Another turning point. His parents couldn’t afford college. But Cooper Union, established in 1859 by Peter Cooper was free to Art, Architecture and Engineering students. Free if you were successful in passing two competitive examinations. He entered with the intent to become a commercial artist.
But Korean War interrupted college and brought him into the Air Force. There he was trained as a construction surveyor. Stationed in Alaska, he was invited by the base engineering department for architectural drafting. A skill learned in his first year at Cooper. He leaped at the opportunity. There he discovered a love of Architecture. A new career direction.
He practiced architecture for 40 years. Had his own firm on Long Island for eleven years. He designed in New York apartment buildings ranging from two stories to forty stories. Also designed numerous suburban office building and Senior citizen housing. The last eleven years before retiring he became the Modernization administrator for the Denver Housing Authority. Supervising the modernization of hundreds of apartments.
Before retiring he returned to painting, his first love. Don and his wife Barbara, also an artist, live in Lakewood, Colorado.
In retirement his paintings have been displayed in galleries in Denver, Lakewood, Breckenridge and Aspen, Colorado. Many are large colorful three foot by four foot oil paintings. Galleries described his style as whimsical expressionism.
He purchased a two acre lot in Lloyd Neck overlooking Long Island Sound. Then designed and built his own residence. This became the home of Mark Reed in the book. It was here, owning a boat, began an attachment to the water.
There was never a plan to write a book. But at six in the morning on August 23rd, 2013, he woke up with the total story outline. The story line for his book the Reincarnation of Vincent Van Gogh. It so dominated his psyche, he felt he had to write the book. The next year and a half were consumed with writing. Writing that was assisted by an experienced editor. His knowledge as an Architect, an Artist and extensive world travels all came into play, in developing this book.
The author finds most fascinating is the reaction to the book, from clubs and friends. They all relate to a variety of unique parts of the book. Van Gogh Returns is his second novel.