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I wrote my first children’s book in Burlington, Vermont on a coffee house napkin, on the fourth night of my honeymoon. It was called Before You Were Born and it was before I was a father, before I was a seasoned husband and before I knew. Twenty-three years and seven children later, I am telling stories from a lifetime of memories and experiences. Maybe a little bit wiser, but certainly with the same energy and expectation of that young newlywed scribbling possibility under New England’s harvest moon. That nugget, those first notes of Before You Were Born went on to be published by Green Key Books in 2003; sold out its first printing in months and was followed by its sequel Just Like You in 2004.
In my 30-year professional career, I have been an art director, a creative director in both marketing and design, as well as a freelance illustrator. My portfolio contains agency work, interior and cover book illustration and graphic design. My experience in the fast paced, chaotic corporate design world has honed my artistic skills and certainly my professional and business skills; a very important and often overlooked aspect by creatives.
Throughout the last thirty years, I have encountered many experiences that have been the material and inspiration for eight picture books (two already published), four novels (YA and adult) and one graphic novel (my active project). In 2005, my eight-year-old son Jesse died in an accidental drowning. Three of my children have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. I have traveled to Honduras for the last 12 years to work with children in an orphanage in Tegucigalpa. I speak at detoxes and rehabs and share my experience, strength and hope with teens and adults alike. I love my wife, coach my kids, celebrate holidays and life with my family, counsel my teens, and remember to be extra silly with “the littles,” my three youngest.
I live in Denver, with my wife Andi and my children. That recent move to Denver has availed me the opportunity to retire from the corporate world and to direct 100% of my energies to freelance illustrating, a further developing of my literary career and most importantly, being a present full-time dad. After all the life I have lived I have landed on gratitude. Call it grace or mercy, but whatever it is I have been given it. Now through my experience and God given talent I attempt to give it back or maybe give it forward; in either case I owe and my story dictates the effort towards that end and that service.
January 1st, 2018