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Born: February 27, 1957
Place of Birth: Wyandotte, Michigan (Detroit area)
Growing up: As a kid, I was SUPER shy. Not any more. Now as a teacher, I stand in front of a class, and as a writer, I share my ideas with the public. Kind of a surprise?
Favorite memories growing up include play wrestling with my dad when I was little, summer vacations near the sand dunes in western Michigan, and getting elected captain of the varsity high school soccer team.
One of the first things I wrote was about one of my elementary school teachers. I did a parody of a popular song and poked fun at him. I guess I was a twelve-year-old Weird Al Yankovich.
Childhood influences: My parents took me to the library frequently. My dad read a lot, and his enjoyment of books was contagious. My mom and dad kept lots of books in the home to stimulate our interest in reading. I loved Robinson Crusoe and Robin Hood when I was a boy.
How I got started writing: In college, I wrote a lot of little pieces, usually to amuse my friends. In graduate school, I printed a two-page newsletter that I sent to a handful of friends. Despite all the fun I had writing, it wasn't until my late thirties that I thought about trying to publish something. Since then I've done magazine articles, had a blog for The Detroit News, and published two books.
Work experience: I've had sixteen different jobs, including working in a preschool, helping runaway teens, training cats to run in a maze, and since 1987, teaching psychology at Judson University. I love teaching and writing, which is what I do now.
Family: I live in northern Illinois with my wife. Our two sons are grown and working.
In my spare time: I play basketball, sports video games, and tend a very average garden.