My first published work was a 4th grade essay about my next-door neighbor's newborn baby. I was hooked. I went on to write for my college newspaper (the Augustana Observer) and run a music blog (3 Minutes, 49 Seconds).
In 2015 I began researching the life and work of children's author and critic Eleanor Cameron, resulting in Eleanor Cameron: Dimensions of Amazement (University Press of Mississippi, 2018). My second book, The Hopefuls: Chasing a Rock 'n' Roll Dream in the Minnesota Music Scene, follows four Twin Cities musicians and their (mis)adventures in the independent music scene. It was released in the fall of 2018 by McFarland & Company.
I Can Read It All By Myself: The Beginner Books Story, due in 2021 from University Press of Mississippi, is a comprehensive history of Random House's groundbreaking early reader series, which ties in nicely with my day-to-day work as an reading specialist.
I was born in Kentucky, grew up in central Illinois, and spent my reckless youth in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. I currently live in Normal, Illinois with my wife and two sons; two cats; and way too many records, books, and comic books.