I have always loved books. My mom read to me constantly from the time I was born, and that helped me become a good reader who was always hungry for more stories.

As a child and young adult, I was the classic case of the kid who sneaked a flashlight into bed so that I could read under the covers after lights-out. My favorite books were adventure stories and true tales of exploration and discovery. I also liked books about far-off historical periods, such as Rosemary Sutcliffe’s books about Britain in the time of King Arthur.

When I was in the fifth grade, I discovered science fiction. The first science fiction novel I read was Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein. I became a fan of imaginative fiction and fantasy. Some of my favorite authors were E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, J.R.R. Tolkien, Andre Norton, and H.P. Lovecraft. I still love rereading their works today.

I’ve lived in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and on the West Coast.

First came the Midwest. I was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and grew up in Fort Wayne, also in Indiana. After earning a B.A. degree in English from Indiana University, I continued my education in Philadelphia, where I earned an M.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. I stayed in Philadelphia for a while after finishing my education, but eventually I grew restless. I wanted to try living in the West. Today my home is Portland, Oregon–a place I’ve written about many times in books about the Oregon Trail and the settling of the American West.

My writing career started when I was in graduate school, working on my M.A. degree. I’ve been a fulltime writer for nearly all of my adult life. I work at home, in an office that has indigo walls and a lot of bookcases.

These days, much of my reading is nonfiction. I’m interested in ancient history, archaeology, and evolutionary biology, alng with social justice and social justice movements. I also like reading about mountain climbing and travel, especially books about the Himalayas, the Arctic, and Antarctica. I’ve been to the Himalayas and across the Arctic Circle; I hope to visit Antarctica someday.  And I still love science fiction and fantasy.

The only thing I love more than reading is writing. I hope you enjoy doing those things, too.

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