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About Me

From an early age, I found myself afflicted with an insatiable urge  to create, and an obsession with the various forms of self-expression. From my first construction paper covered “Spiro Spider” book at age 6, to competing in regional art competitions, to performing in my high school marching band, I knew at an early age that if I were to be truly happy, it would have to be outside the scope of the traditional 9 – 5 profession.


Inspired by the sea adventures of Dirk Pitt from my father’s hand-me-down Clive Cussler novels and an annual family pilgrimage to the Eastern Shore, the thirst for travel and adventure was nearly as strong as my love of the arts. Prior to beginning my senior year of high school, I had signed on the dotted line. At that time, “Join the Navy - See the world,” was an all too alluring hook. While not exactly the adventure I had envisioned, I did manage to do a fair share of travel in the military, emerging unscathed, with a new appreciation of other cultures.  And NO CLUE what I would do next!


Prior to my separation from the service, I was placed on shore duty in a holding company while awaiting the birth of my eldest son. During this time, I became enamored by the duck decoys carved by my Chief Petty Officer, who took me under his wing and introduced me to the art form. Following the birth of my son and subsequent discharge, I returned to Pennsylvania and set about improving on my technique. After winning a few competitions and receiving guidance from my entrepreneurial uncle, I was easily convinced to turn my newfound skills into fulltime work.  I assumed the role of primary caretaker of my young son while my wife completed her medical training. Aided by classes from master carvers, Jim Sprankle and George Kruth, my carving and painting improved to the point that I was able to teach lessons and win several competitions. Aided by my uncle, I learned to run a business that included teaching and selling my own artwork, as well as selling carving and painting supplies. As a father, I learned that a running dryer cures colic and became a proficient diaper changer. As he grew, I also learned that pattern and rhythm are the only way to entertain a hyperactive toddler for an extended period of time. Night after night, the only books that would hold his attention were Dr. Seuss books. Being rather juvenile myself (as per my wife), I must also admit that I also found them entertaining – and still do.


In addition to The Foot Book and The Lorax, I eventually found that my son could be entertained by the silly stories I made up – particularly an odd yarn I crafted about a fish that was born with a chicken’s beak. After months of reciting “Left foot, left foot, right foot, right,” and retelling my own silly stories, I was more than ready to attempt my own rhyming children’s story. As wood carving had become my profession, the attempt to write a rhyming children’s book became my creative outlet, and years later, a new fulltime profession.

                  ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER…
 
Today, my hyper-active toddler is grown and newly engaged, and his younger brother is a recent college graduate. As for me, while still making art and writing books, I have also evolved. My love of culture led to a degree in anthropology, mostly because I wanted to write books about diverse cultures from faraway places. Throughout my studies, I became interested in mythology and folklore, as well as the lesser known subfield of primatology. Tiring of choking on sawdust, my artwork has also diversified, often taking on paranormal and mythological themes. While Dr. Seuss insured a strong moral foundation, respect for the environment, and inspired nine rhyming, children’s picture books, I now aim to bring the same level of wit and excitement to adult readers, incorporating anthropological themes, paranormal story lines, and the same sense of adventure that my father’s Cussler books inspired in me. If that’s not enough variety to put some spice in your soup – let me tell you about my ukulele collection!