Things haven’t changed much since then. I still spend several hours a day in my room clacking away and I still love the sound of the keyboard and the look of the letters and words that eventually turn into stories. The only difference is that I can read now and I spell a lot better.
Wanting to write led me to working with animals. I was going to Portland State University majoring in English so I could become a writer. One day I was looking at the job placement board hoping to find part-time work and I saw an opening at the children’s zoo in town. I got the job. Soon after I started at the zoo, two agoutis escaped from their cage and disappeared into the park surrounding the zoo. (Agoutis are very large rodents from South America). My boss told me to go out into the park and catch them. I didn’t know at the time, but she was playing a joke on me. Everyone thought the agoutis would never be seen again. I not only found the agoutis, but I managed to catch them and bring them back to the zoo. My boss was shocked!
My wife, Marie, and I live on a small farm south of Portland. I spend my days in my basement office writing stories that usually include animals. If I’m not writing I’m traveling — doing research and taking photos for upcoming books. Or, I’m out visiting schools — something I love to do! My writing led me to animals and my work with animals led me back to writing. It’s funny how things work out. I spent over twenty years working with animals. Now I’m going to spend the next twenty years writing about animals…as well as a few other things.