I grew up in the Al Smith projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When I was in the fourth grade my mother was told by the principal of PS-1 that, “Nick was unlikely to ever complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation.” Instead, I became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a New York City Police Officer; Deputy Chief Counsel for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime; and Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way, I picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard. How many mothers are told their child is hopeless? How many kids with potential surrender to desperation? That’s why I wrote “Weepers”—for them.