Me as a Kid

My Bio Page

 

Welcome to my website! Here's some info about me... I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Great Neck on Long Island, a suburb of New York City. I have two older brothers. As a kid, I had a lot of pets, loved to read, played piano, wrote a lot of stories and, like all kids, sometimes got into trouble too. My parents worked for the New York City public school system as a teacher (mom) and a guidance counselor (dad).

 

I went to an alternative high school without grades. I majored in math in college (Brown University). I had a lot of odd jobs then including pumping gas one summer at Yellowstone Park. After college, I volunteered for a year as a teacher in Haiti, then went on to teach high school in Los Angeles and to help run an elementary afterschool.

 

I've also developed curriculum for a nonprofit in Chicago that helps city kids prepare for college. I love to travel, too, and whenever I could save up money I took trips to faraway places as a backpacker.

 

I've been writing stories since I was a kid and in my spare time while I worked as an adult. Finally I decided to write a novel for real. I always wrote for children. It's hard to say why except that those are the stories I can tell best.

 

I also do storytimes for younger kids at the local library and occasionally run a workshop with four or five kids who love writing stories.

 

In 2010, I was picked as the Children's-Writer-in-Residence by Thurber House, a residency offered to one children's book writer a year in honor of author and humorist James Thurber. I got to live in Thurber's house in downtown Columbus, now a literary center and museum. Thanks Thurber House! That was a terrific experience and helped me write my second book.

 

Since my wife is Austrian (she's on this page with the jigsaw above right), I now live in the third district of Vienna, Austria. Austria borders Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland. Vienna is the capital city of Austria. About 2 million people live here. The Danube river flows through its center. Here, the river is called the Donau.