That’s me on the left, trying to look professional. I’m a novelist, science writer, and school visitor. I’ve overcome a tendency to faint and watched brain surgery up close, sat behind the wheel of a flying car, hiked and surfed in Ireland….all for work. But I really fell into writing to make stuff up. When I was little I’d write about dinosaurs with flatulence problems and sharks attacking alien ships. As I grew older, and expanded my library beyond adventure books to include young-people-sitting-and-thinking books, my stories became a little less exciting. That carried over into my first novel, The Wages of Genius, which is all about a single day in the life of an office worker. It’s kind of funny, though, since he thinks he’s the reincarnation of Albert Einstein. I won’t give away the ending.
A few years later, prompted by requests from my nieces and nephews, I decided to try writing a more adventurous novel. The result, Fish (Scholastic Press), is filled with pirates, puzzles, and grand journeys. Fish was a Scholastic Book Fair bestseller, and it has received numerous awards and nominations. At around the same time, I started writing a science book for adults, The Truth About Santa: Wormholes, Robots, and What Really Happens on Christmas Eve (Bloomsbury). On the surface it’s about how Santa completes such seemingly impossible tasks. But the real heart of the book is the power of science and technology. School Library Journal called it “delightfully whimsical” and the USA Today picked it as one of its top five holiday books for geeks.
Should that have been a kids book? Maybe. But since writing those two, I’ve enjoyed going back and forth between fiction and nonfiction, adventure and science. You can check out the rest of my books here, including my latest collaboration with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
This isn’t really a bio, is it? What else? I used to be a pretty fast swimmer. I’m happily married with three kids. We live on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod. I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, surfing, running, hanging with my family, open-water swimming, and other stuff.
Sometimes, late in the day, I lie down on the floor of my office and close my eyes for a little while. Don’t tell anyone, though. That makes me seem unprofessional.
I prefer black shoes and sneakers, almost exclusively.
I started a cool little business earlier this year. It’s going well.
My pickup truck’s name is Marvin. He has a short bed, but he’s fine with it.