My first inspiration to write and illustrate children’s bedtime stories came from my family. It was full of artists and writers. My mother, Mary, created a cartoon series for a national magazine called ”Susie”. She would give me art materials and turn me loose in an old schoolhouse she had converted into an art studio. My Aunt Ginny was a writer, and my uncle, Jimmy Stewart, did the drawings for his prep school yearbook before he went to Hollywood to become a movie star.
Growing up I dreamed of action and adventure. My three brothers and I had a Calvary Club, with uniforms sewn by my mother (including yellow stripes on our sleeves and down the sides of our jeans). We would go on maneuvers in the woods behind our house. We also wrote and performed in home movies and in a circus on a stage in our back yard.That’s part of my inspiration for my latest book, “The Little Man with the Big Black Hat Who Stole Away with Fred my Cat” that takes place mostly in a circus.
I’ve always been fascinated with things falling into things and using that as a narrative devise. In “The Little Man” a boy and his cat discover a little man in a book. The cat jumps into the book and falls into the man’s hat. The boy jumps too, and what follows is a rollicking action-packed adventure where he meets a lion, a juggling monkey, an elephant and two high flying bears as they end up in a circus while searching for the man who stole his cat.
I’ve also had a career as an advertising art director and built a successful magazine publishing company. My wife, Sue and I now spend most of our time in Vermont and as much time as possible with our grandson, Colden.