Hi, I'm T.J.
Like you didn't already know that, right?
OK, smarty, so let me dish up some surprises. Maybe.
I was a weird kid. I wore a sailor's hat to high school. High school. (Let that sink in for a minute.) No, my parents didn't make me. And it wasn't the school's uniform. Just say I marched to the beat of a different drummer.
Speaking of which, I played percussion. Not really well, but that's not the point. I'm better on flute and guitar, and I dabble a bit on piano.
I have a poodle with a cool 'do. His name's Murphy, and he looks something like this:
I used to have horses. I love horses! But now I'm allergic to them. Cruel, cruel world.
I drew the seahorse (get it? seahorse! ) on my website. In fact, I drew all these pictures. Yes, I'm a writer, not an illustrator. That's not the point. It's fun to draw. Try it.
If you see a photo on this site, I probably took that, too.
I'm an explorer. I've traveled to amazing places - Russia, Europe, Asia - to do research, work or teach. I love to learn about new places and cultures, and I get excited by scientific discoveries and geeky inventions.
I have the best job in the world. I write about cool things for curious and creative kids - which means all of you (young and old). What kind of cool things? Pretty much anything. Gadgets, science, animals, mythology, cultures, music. Sometimes I make things up. Really. I write both nonfiction and fiction. I just have to remember what goes in which book.
I wasn't always an author of kids' books. I used to be a journalist, a university professor, a diplomat, and a research analyst. Yeah, I've been busy.
And, yes, I find much inspiration in The Phantom Tollbooth. If you haven't read it yet, you must!
The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between.
The Phantom Tollbooth