I was born on 34th Street in Manhattan. My parents were from Queens. They married when my dad returned from World War II; he then joined the ranks of the NYPD. A sister and two brothers rounded out my family. When our Stuyvesant Town apartment grew too small, we moved to the relative wilds of Staten Island.
I spent my childhood roaming the woods, playing sports, crossing the street without looking both ways, and drawing. Drawing was the thing I did best. I wasn’t the smartest one in my class or the best athlete in any sport, but when they passed out the paper and crayons, it was my time to shine. My teachers would never hold up my math test as an example, but everything I drew would be shown to the class and given a place of honor on the bulletin board. I started to think I might become an artist.
After high school, I went to Pratt Institute to study art. I cleaned the floors in a nursing home and drove a cab nights and weekends. Soon after graduating, I sold my first illustration to True Confessions magazine. I was on my way—at the beginning of a thirty-year career of illustrating everything you could imagine. I now have twenty-three books in print, and several more in the pipeline.
Along the way, I married Peggy and we had three children: Katie, Alice and Kevin. Two are in college and one is about to start (please buy my books!). We live in Putnam County, New York.
Sixteen years ago I decided I wanted to be a writer as well as an artist. Sixteen published books later, I’m still at it.