That’s me on the left, trying to look professional. I’m a novelist, science writer, and school visitor. As a magazine writer, I’ve covered artificial intelligence, robots, physics and emoji. 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.
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. I’d like to write more Fish novels, but another story grabbed me next instead, and I spent a few years working on Dangerous Waters, a novel involving Titanic passenger Harry Widener, a conflicted twelve-year-old stowaway named Patrick Waters, and an immensely valuable and mysterious book.
A few of my science stories found their way into my 2009 book, 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.
Then there’s the series of science-themed adventure and mystery novels, Jack and the Geniuses, written with Bill Nye the Science Guy. The first one was a New York Times bestseller and the next two are equally awesome. Or that’s what Bill says, anyway.
Next up? A history of the universe (for kids) with Neil deGrasse Tyson, a big enormous science book with Bill Nye, and more.
This isn’t really a bio, is it?