12/12/2016 BIO UPDATE
Big, exciting, awesome news--"Actually...It's a Short Story Collection" has launched on Amazon! Click at the top of my page to buy it now! It's amazing...fun-filled...creative...packed with art ideas...ACTUALLY, it's quite brilliant and we're so very proud of this book.
Oh yes, this is the "Me" section of the website, not the "Buy My Book Right Now" section. Very well then...
I am currently working on a chapter book which will likely be for upper middle grade readers, or 10-12 year olds. I'll define my own target markets, thank you very much. I am also kicking around another chapter book idea that may be for adults, not sure yet. The story is probably going to require me to write full steam ahead without worry of who it's for or who may read it. Or it could have a kid in it and be another children's book. I'll let the flow decide.
My other main passion right now (other than family of course!) is reading. I'm reading mostly YA fiction, I suppose, but I'm trying to mix in as many many contemporaries and younger kids' books as possible--to keep me well-rounded. And adult books too! I certainly mustn't forget those. Check out "Points of Interest" here on my site for info on many, many amazing books.
I read A LOT and I'm happy to pass on my experiences to help you all find good reads or great bookish gifts.
Thanks for visiting and don't forget to learn some more about "Actually..." while you're here! HAPPY READING!
**1/15/2015 BIO UPDATE**
It's a new year....in fact it's my 39th one here on Earth. He says with a shudder. Actually, I don't really care SO much about turning that one certain number of years old. I care a bit, but not a lot. I'll be fine, I think. Writers discover themselves at all different times on the life scale so I'm fine. I think.
On with the update. The big, new thing I'm doing nowadays is book reviews. The sole purpose for which I do these write-ups is so I can remember what I've read and know how I felt about it. I'd like my kids to have this list someday so they can check out all my favorite reads, if they choose. And if, during the course of time, someone else discovers a new book through my words, then that's just a wonderful side bonus.
If you see a book that I've liked and you are thus interested in it, you may want to know more about me. You may not. I'm going to tell you anyways.
I mostly read at the gym using the Kindle app on my iPad. And I sneak in some eBook time on my 6 Plus whenever my kids are in a class like ballet, gymnastics or art. (Perhaps this is unimportant, but it feels relevant for a person who takes the time to write about what he reads, to explain himself as a reader. So I'll continue.) I also dig into real live physical books at night before bed. But I find that I don't very well retain info from those reading sessions, so I generally only read "fun" books at night. If I love an eBook, I'll buy the physical copy because I'd always rather have a real book if it was a worthy read. If I don't really like a book, I don't write about it, so everything I put on here is generally positive. I guess I'm just a nice guy.
I read lots of middle-grade and "YA" books because that is where my interests lie right now. I write for those age groups and Knowonder! publishes for those ages so it's sort of market research, as well as fun. I like fantasy books and anything else with high imagination and maximum creativity. I don't generally go for contemporary, hard-hitting, issue driven books. Though recently, I did truly enjoy John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska. But he's a brilliant writer so probably anything he does is going to be grand.
Some years back I went through a heavy Kurt Vonnegut period and he's perhaps my favorite author. Especially Cat's Cradle and Sirens of Titan. Seemingly conversely, I also really dig Dr. Seuss. My kids and I read together quite often and honestly, the good doctor is the best there is at penning phenomenal read aloud prose. In middle school and high school, I LOVED the Xanth series of books by Mr. Piers Anthony. He's gone a bit different these days, writing a lot of soft erotica sci-fi. But back then he was all about trolls, dragons, wizards, fairies, princes and princesses, quests, unicorns and all manner of other fantasy beings and beasts. Wonderful books with a sensational sense of humor and Xanth was just a fun place to be immersed in..
You can see in my reviews that The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman are easily my most favorite reads of the past year or so. The Magicians series particularly captivated me. Absolutely enthralling books. I am currently reading Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, which is the sequel to the spectacular Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. That novel is being made into a movie by Mr. Tim Burton. It will surely be outstanding because the book is fabulous. Both of them are. I shall be writing about them both soon, once I've finished Hollow City.
Besides a lot of reading, I am currently writing my first book-length.... uh book. And through Knowonder! I'll be editing and helping publish a collection of my own short stories that have been on our website - plus some exciting new tales! Much anticipation is within me for those two projects. What a weird sentence that was.
At Knowonder! we are still sticking to our passion of being book publishers, book lovers and book advocates. We don't want to give up and so we continue to look for a foothold. Our main collective goal right now is to spend time with our own writings, with a new mantra of "create and share". More on that as it develops.
Well, that's the news. Bye-bye bio, see you in a year or so....
**8/16/2013 BIO UPDATE**
I've decided to update my bio page from time to time. It's only fair. I don't want my bio to get lonely. No one likes a lonely bio.
STILL writing short stories. STILL reading submissions/editing content/producing books for knowonder! One new thing is we are now publishing chapter books, which is awesome! Our first two books, The Adventures of Jake and Moon Granny - Space Pirate Panic and Burkley and the Beasts will be released in September. Lots of work goes into publishing a book, but it's fun work. Most of the time. Also, knowonder is releasing a collection of short stories by a Canadian author/illustrator named Rolli. This book is titled Dr. Franklin's Staticy Cat & Other Unbelievable Tales. It's going to be fantastic 'cuz Rolli is a super writer and a creative artist!
And one very important personal update - I have finally mastered that tricky orange button on Wii Guitar Hero! Well, mastered is probably a strong word. But I can play expert level on maybe 75% of the songs. So that's pretty awesome. As my kids get older they are starting to like DJ Hero and Just Dance as well. We are a very musical family! And we CANNOT WAIT for Disney Infinity to be released soon. I expect that game will provide us many, many nights of close family fun bonding time.
Oh yeah, one more thing. You know that pop-up camper I mentioned below and that "goal" we had of spending one night in every state in the lower 48? Yeah, that hasn't started yet. We've camped in Kansas and... Kansas. I've shifted our camping goal to spending a pop-up night in as many National Parks as possible. I believe that one is far more reachable. And if a goal isn't reachable, well then it's just silly, right?!
OK that's the end of the bio update. See you next time I remember to do this!
**ORIGINAL BIO, WRITTEN... A WHILE AGO... I CAN'T REMEMBER WHEN**
I live in Kansas and I’m a stay home dad to two awesome kids - a big sis and a lil’ bro. Big sis is in school and I sure miss her. A lot! You'd think that means it's a bit quieter around our house these days but in reality, lil' bro makes as much noise as five kids! So we are just fine in the excessive and obnoxious sounds department.
In the afternoons, lil' bro naps, which gives me a chance to leap into my imagination and look around for stories to write. I like to collect records and jam out to the warm sounds put out by those amazing little vinyl circles. I wish I could play guitar or drums but I can't so instead, I rock with Guitar Hero on the Wii. My fingers have yet to master that tricky orange button. I have always loved video games. And movies too! “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”, “Up”, every “Toy Story” and “The Princess Bride” are some of my favorite films which many of you kids may have seen.
I have an absolutely lovely wife who spends her days working for a health care technology company. She shares my love for music and movies, but not so much for video games. Walking to the park, playing the piano and eating spaghetti are her favorite things to do. She’s my biggest fan and also my best writing critic. Those must be tough to do at the same time!
We have a great little dog that we all love very much. People say her soft fur makes her feel just like a stuffed animal. She likes to sleep most of the day but her very favorite thing in the world is when someone picks up her leash.
We have a little pop-up camper and hope to sleep in it while visiting every National Park in the lower 48. This goal will take us years to complete. But I think we can get it done because family camping is awesome!
Once upon a time we lived in London, England for a short while. It was absolutely amazing! We rode in trains all over the remarkable British countryside and saw so many beautiful castles. Each one seemed to be straight from a fairy tale. I looked for dragons and knights in shining armor but I never saw any. They must have been hiding! Or maybe they were sleeping all day like our dog does. I went to a couple dozen soccer matches and I always wore a team scarf to every one of them. Soccer is my top sport and my favorite team is Sporting Kansas City!
Twice a week in the morning, I talk on the radio with my friend Chris and his big bro Tim. We ramble about random stuff and we call ourselves “The DLCshow”. We are on local station Island107 down in Key West, FL. My friend Chris lives there and he is the DLC in the DLCshow. But none of us really know any more what those letters mean. He broadcasts from the studio while Tim and I call in via Skype. The DLCshow gives me a chance to be an adult a couple of times a week, which is cool. I love writing stories and hanging with my little ones but I also like to rant and rave about some of the ridiculous stuff in life. If you are a kid, you probably don’t want to listen to our radio show. It’s nothing too bad but you most likely wouldn’t be very interested. Stick to my stories - I think you will love those!
The best thing to happen to me lately is the publication of my first picture book - Chomp! Chomp! Chomp! You can buy it by clicking the little button at the top of my webpage. Also, I'm still writing fun short stories for knowonder! as well as working with the great team of people there to bring tons of awesomely imaginative stories to readers like you! And you! And you over there! And you, under the table eating goldfish, I see you too!! Starting in January of 2013, we are going to be publishing short story collections every month in both digital and print format. I hope to have a handful of my own tales included in each one!
Help us spread the good knowonder word, would ya!
The last thing about me I have to mention is I cannot start my morning without a hot cup of coffee. But really, any time is a perfect time for a mug from my faithful friend Mr. Keurig. In fact... now sounds great! Gotta go!