This blog is about a book that's been in production from 2012-2018, entitled Gnomes of the Cheese Forest and Other Poems.

Here's a bit of background...as a kid I was constantly writing and illustrating my own books. Combining this knack for storytelling with a love for movies & puppets led me to enter the world of animation during my college years. Since the mid-90s I have worked as a traditional animator on several short films for BigFott Studios, taught the craft to hundreds of students, and landed the opportunity to write two instructional books on stop-motion puppet animation.

But all the while, I haven’t been able to ignore the urge to tell my own stories, like I had done as a child.

When my wife and I had kids of our own, I returned with fresh eyes into the children’s books I grew up with, by the likes of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak and Mercer Mayer. For the first time in many years, I found myself reading the words out loud to them and falling in love all over again with the rhythm of the language, the whimsy of the words, and how they interplayed with the illustrations. Another poetry book called The Tomato Collection by Kevin Kammeraad also lit a spark of inspiration and got me thinking it might be neat to start writing again.

So one day on a complete whim, I started writing poems, and it was like a bottle cork popped off to unleash a gushing of ideas for characters, stories and poetic reflections I didn't even know were inside me. I grew to love playing with the words and re-working them, while sketching ideas for those that would be best served with illustrations.

Hundreds of poems, drawings and ideas filled several sketchbooks, and over the course of 6 years, have crystallized into final form for books I am now independently publishing (through IngramSpark), starting with Gnomes of the Cheese Forest & Other Poems.  I started this blog to document the process, and it's been a fantastic journey. The second book, currently entitled Let There Be Owls Everywhere, is still in production and coming up next!

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For interview requests, questions, or coffee, e-mail me anytime.

Updated: July 16, 2018

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