When and where were you born?
I was born on November 30, 1951 @ 11:16am in Portland, Oregon. (Mark Twain, one of my favorite authors, was also born on November 30th…not the same year!).
Are you married?
Yes, to a wonderful woman named, Marie.
What does your wife do for a living?
Marie is an author. We’ve co-authored several picture books together so far. B is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet , E is for Evergreen: A Washington Alphabet, N is for our Nation’s Capital, W is for Waves. Our next book together will be an alphabet book about the Smithsonian institution.
Where do you live?
We live just south of Portland on a 35 acre farm nestled in a beautiful little valley.
Do you have children?
Yes, three stepchildren: Bethany, Shawn, and Niki. And four grandchildren: John Robert (JR) and Will (Bethany’s boys), and Jack and Ethan (Niki’s boys).
Where did you go to school?
Portland State University.
What did you do for a living before you became an author?
I was a zookeeper at The Oregon Zoo in Portland for 10 years. After this I worked at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington for 12 years where I held a number of different positions: Curator of Mammals and Birds, General Curator, Assistant Zoo Director, and Senior Research Biologist helping other conservational biologists reintroduce red wolves back into the wild. You can read more about this in my BIO.
What’s your favorite food?
I love all food that starts with the letter: P
Are you working on a book now?
I’m always working on a new book. My latest three books are ELEPHANT RUN and the sequel to “Cryptid Hunters” , TENTACLES and I.Q. Independence Hall. I'm currently under contract to write seven new novels. I'll keep this FAQ updated, so check back once in awhile to see what's coming out, or you can sign up for my newsletter which I only send out when a new book is published or if I have something else important to report.
How do you become an author?
That’s a little complicated to go into here. Let me just say this… I think anyone can become a author, but it takes a lot of time and practice before a publisher is going to pay you to write a book. I was a reader before I became a writer and I’m still a reader. I read 2 or 3 books every week and I’ve done that for over 40 years. I write every single day no matter where I am…home, hotel rooms, schools, libraries, airports, jets… (The more you practice the luckier you get). You can follow me on FaceBook, Twitter and my Journal. This should give you of what it’s like to be this particular (or peculiar) author.
Snail-mail and Email:
As you might imagine I receive a lot of letters and email, for which I’m very grateful. Sadly, because of my speaking and writing schedule I no longer have time to write people back. If I responded to all of the letters and emails I wouldn’t have time to write my books. I do read all of the letters and emails (and sometimes I do answer a few of them personally…but this is very rare). So, please continue to email me. If you do email me you are going to get an “auto-reply” explaining why I can’t email you back. I’m very sorry about this. I wish I could email everyone back personally.
Letters (snail-mail) is a different story. Because I’m away from home at least 6 months out of the year I have absolutely no time to write you a personal letter back, but like email I do read all of the letters. It would be much better to email me. Save a bit of a tree (and the cost of a stamp)…send an email.
Again, you can keep track of what I’m doing by following me on Twitter and FaceBook. I make a post to these sites almost every day.
I hope to write a third book, but it will be a long time before I get back to Jack. I have several other novels to finish first. While you're waiting I hope you get a chance to read my other adventure novels. You can read about them on this webpage. I think you'll like them.