Peter Maloney spent most of his childhood playing in the woods behind the house he grew up in in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. He wrote his first book, a 165-page novel called Journey Under The Pacific Ocean, when he was eleven years old.
After graduating from Rutgers College, Peter took courses in illustration and design at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He began submitting children’s picture books to publishing houses. They were all rejected. At the same time he worked at an advertising agency in New York City creating ads, jingles and tv commercials including the original Milk Moustache campaign for Dellwood Milk. Around this time he also met a young college graduate named Felicia Zekauskas. During their very first conversation he discovered she also shared the dream of writing and illustrating children’s books.
Peter and Felicia then went into business together. They started a graphic design and advertising company called Zinc. In their spare time, they began collaborating on picture books. Their first book, Redbird at Rockefeller Center, is the story of a baby redbird stranded atop the world’s most famous Christmas tree. Their second book, The Magic Hockey Stick, is based on what happened to them after they won Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick at a charity auction at Madison Square Garden.
In addition to sports stars, Peter’s heroes have always included writers, artists and songwriters. As a boy he loved reading books by Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R. Tolkien and Kenneth Robeson. His favorite songwriters are Joni Mitchell, Ray Davies and Cole Porter and his favorite illustrators include William Steig, Charles Addams, Jean Pierre Sempe and Edward Sorel.
There’s nothing Peter would rather do than write and illustrate picture books, although he would also like to be a famous rock star.
Peter now lives on the 37th floor of a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan. From his window, he can still see the distant woods he played in as a child.
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