My name is pronounced “Johnny” and no, my dad swears he didn't want a boy — but he did draw my name out of a hat, and there were accusations of cheating. Ask me about that some time.

I live on the only paved street in Greenwater, a tiny community at the knees of Mt. Rainier in Washington. I have a new dog as well as mice in my stove vent, raccoons in my tree, and elk in my yard.

 

Ancient history
“Snow!” The first word I ever read for myself was in one of my beloved
Dr. Seuss books, which arrived monthly in the mail. I was four years old when the letters of that exciting winter word clicked in my head. I was soon devouring stories about horses and dogs, and my wonderful parents bought me books from the school's Scholastic Book Club regularly.

By second grade, I'd begun scribbling my own stories, starting with a
puppy dog tale and moving on to science fiction and fantasy, inspired by
great writers like Norton Juster, Ray Bradbury, and Ursula LeGuin.


Oddball Q&A
For more random information about me, visit the Class of 2k7 website, which introduced me and 38 other middle-grade and young-adult authors who had debut novels in 2007. The site includes archived answers to many blog interview questions on everything from our earliest book memories to our favorite teachers. (And our innovative group has since spawned Classes of 2k8, 2k9, and 2k10!)


Writing in the woods
When I'm not writing in my house in the woods, I like to hike, run with my dog, scuba dive, ride my motorcycle (vroom!), and travel to exotic places like the Sahara Desert.

I tell myself stories to better understand life, but I hope you'll simply have fun with my stories and many others — maybe even your own!

 


Dream Factory Books
With grant money I was shocked to win, I created Dream Factory Books in 1999 to publish two picture books with environmental themes.
Bears Barge In was awarded a Henry Bergh Children's Book Honor by
the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2001.
The Garbage Monster has been incorporated into community environmental education programs from Texas to Manitoba.

 


Corporate writing
In addition to writing for children, I have more than 20 years of experience consulting on communication and marketing for businesses. My corporate clients have included the American Cancer Society, Microsoft, Plum Creek Timber, REI, Safeco, WestFarm Foods (Darigold), and Weyerhaeuser. Potential clients can view my corporate resume or feel free to contact me.