about me

Born: August 16

Place of Birth: San Jose, CA

Education: Attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. I published my first story The Old Man, a humorous tale that received numerous compliments, for the school newspaper. Also took Drama Production and did many plays, including the musical Little Me, where the teacher demoted me to the chorus for playing a harmless practical joke on the lead during rehearsal. She really needed to lighten up—I mean, everyone else thought it was funny. Began college at LACC (Los Angeles City College (because I thought I wanted to be a journalist, like Hemingway). In class, I received praise for my essay on the Nixon/Kennedy debate, which the professor read aloud, and received A's in all my subjects, which got me on the Dean’s Honor List. When our mother passed away, I dropped out of school to work at a bookstore. Began singing lessons, took up cartooning and published professionally, and appeared in over thirty plays and musicals, and did several opera roles. 

Childhood influences: The first book I remember reading for fun was Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way ComesI was hooked and read everything he did. Read the Lord of the Rings. I read mostly fantasy and science fiction in high school, and then got interested in regular fiction, like Hemingway, Dostoevsky, and others. I moved onto Mark Twain and Jack London stories. My parents were both singers, but my dad died when I was five. My mom was an artist, also; however, to support the family, she took a job at a lighting company and never pursued either. My dad had been the owner of a restaurant before he passed. I started writing when I was in elementary school; mostly ghost stories that weren’t too concern with character development but had a surprise twist in the plot. The first story I submitted for publication was when I was 16. It wasn’t published, and I don’t blame them, it was terrible. My first published work was a short story in Boys’ Life Magazine. I had never intended to be a children’s writer. I don’t know what compelled me to write for children. Looking back, I was deeply depressed after being laid off. Maybe I was longing for a more innocent, fun time, when the future appeared hopeful. I had scanned through my Junior High yearbook one day, saw that someone had written, “I leave my smelly tennis shoes to the next person who has my locker”, and had an idea for my first kid’s short story, and it sold! I remember when I received the acceptance letter, I was shocked and overjoyed and ran through the house shouting and staring at the letter in disbelief. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget. My body was on fire, as if I had enough adrenaline to lift the house. I had the same feeling when I won my first writing award.

Work experience: I worked for a bookstore in Beverly Hills, and then moved on to being a head printer, an assistant manager at the Greek Theater where I worked as an assistant carpenter during the day; after that, I landed a temp job at Disney Studios for the Disney Art Program and was hired full time. Then I worked for Warner Brothers Studio in their Art program in consumer products. After Warner Brothers disbanded their stores, I was laid off and decided to become a full-time writer. I met my wife in acting class. We married and moved into a house in Sherman Oaks and adopted our son, Mark, at three-years-old. 

Family: I live with my wife, Susy, and son, Mark. 

Pets: one dog Diana (an enthusiastic Beagle) and two chatty parakeets, Angel and Sunshine. 

Favorite story I wrote: That’s a hard question for a writer. I like them all for different reasons, but I have a soft spot for The Smelly, Smelly Tennis Shoes, because it was the first short story I sold (you can find it in my eBook Strange Tales From A Boy's Life Fiction Stories Published in Boys' Life Magazine sold at Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook Stores). 

In my spare time: I like to read, sing in choir, and play tennis.