My wife, and I live on a bluff overlooking the Merced River. During spring runoff the river roars and in the summer there are placid pools perfect for swimming. The town we live in is El Portal and right next to Yosemite National Park. There’s a small school here with only three teachers. The kids at the school help me a lot with my books and you can see pictures of some of them in my Backyard Buddies Series

Besides being a writer I also work here as a naturalist taking visitors on hikes and walks to learn about the Park. I’ve been doing it for more than 30 years and plan on doing it for at least another twenty.

Most of my book ideas come from my work as a naturalist or my adventures with school kids. When I’m not taking people on hikes, I’m either writing or taking myself on a hike. I usually don’t write for more than five hours a day. That’s plenty!

One of my early drawings
When I was a kid growing up in Huntington, New York, I liked to draw way more than write. In fact, I wrote my first kid’s book Cycles, Cycles, Cycles because I had so much fun drawing the weird characters. These days I just do the writing and other people create the art for my book.

It can take me about a month or two to write the rough draft for a book. Usually I write two more drafts before a book is ready to be printed. I actually like to rewrite and really enjoy doing research for my books. It usually takes two years from the time I start writing to when the book is in print.

My two newest books are A World of Her Own : 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers and She Takes a Stand: 16 Fearless Activists Who Have Changed the World. I also teach field adventure classes in Yosemite National Park.
Even though this seems busy, I still have a lot of time to ride my bike, hike, and travel. Feel free to email me anytime by clicking here:

Michael at his desk

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