Many writers have written novels with addictive protagonists - my favorites are Malcolm Lowry's the Consul in "Under the Volcano," and the Jean Rhys books. But these characters were written from the inside, as it were, by alcoholics who didn't know the other side - sobriety. In "Gringa in a Strange Land," I write about Erica Mason, a young artist in the early l970's living in Mexico and struggling with addiction. Then in "Cleans Up Nicely," I take her to New York and the other side, the roller-coaster of early sobriety. Having been on both sides, I hope the reader will get the full picture of how, grossly but also subtly, substance-abuse infects body, mind, and spirit. And what a strange new land sobriety is for those who first land there.