- How old are you?
I was born on October 20, 1963. You’ll have to do the math!
- How old were you when you wrote your first book?
It was a few months before my 27th birthday when I started writing Hockey Night in the Dominion of Canada. It came out on November 1, 1992, just after I turned 29.
- When did you write your first children’s book?
The first books I wrote for children came out in 1999. I was 36.
- How long does it take you to write a book?
There’s no one answer to this. Some of the books I write are pretty short. Others are a lot longer. It only took me 15 days to write the first draft of my book Long Shot … but I had been doing the research on it for nearly 15 years! Most of the books I’ve written have taken anywhere from six weeks to two years to write.
- Why are you so interested in sports?
Both my parents were big sports fans. My mother especially loved baseball. She still does. My dad took me to my first NHL hockey game when I was seven years old. But, really, I think what hooked me for life was the famous Summit Series between Canada and Russia in September of 1972. I was only eight years old, but I’ll never forget it. I watched Paul Henderson score the series-winning goal in the final seconds of the final game on a TV in my grade four classroom. Ask your parents – or your grandparents – and if they were living anywhere in Canada in 1972, I’ll bet they remember it too!
- Do you write about things other than hockey?
I did a series of books about sports quotes that cover baseball, football, basketball, golf and NASCAR racing. MVP Superstars features hockey, baseball, football, basketball and soccer players. I wrote Absolute Expert: Soccer for National Geographic Kids and I’m working on another book for them about football which will be out in 2021. I also wrote a book called Crazy Canucks about Canada’s men’s ski team.
- Who is your favorite hockey team?
Growing up in Toronto, the Maple Leafs were my favorite team. Later, I loved the Edmonton Oilers when Wayne Gretzky was with them. These days, I don’t really have a favorite team, though I still follow the Leafs more than anyone else.
- Who is your favorite hockey player?
As a boy, I loved Jacques Plante when he was the goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. My dad took my brothers and me to see Wayne Gretzky when he was still playing junior hockey, and I followed him closely after that. These days, I’d say Sidney Crosby is my favorite player, but it’s not the same thing as when you’re a kid!
- How many books have you written?
Go to the Books link and count them up!
- Who is your favorite author?
I don’t honestly have a favorite author, but my favorite books are historical fiction novels and biographies of old sports stars.
- Did you always want to be a writer?
Not really. When I was four, I wanted to drive a delivery truck! When I was older, I probably wanted to be a football player. For me, writing about sports was the best way to stay involved in sports. I was never that great at making up stories in school, but I always liked to write (and talk) about the games I played and watched.
- How do you become a writer?
There’s no single answer to that, and no easy one either. But really, if you want to be a writer, you have to write! I know that sounds silly, but if you want to become a hockey player, or you want to become a rock star, you have to play and you have to practice. It’s not so different from that.