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University of Notre Dame (English)
Xavier University, Cincinnati OH (MEd)
I was a teacher in a private school, and then came to New York City to be a writer. I was successful at this, having published more than 100 books, mostly in collaboration with my wife Dorothy. One of our YA novels, IN DARKNESS, DEATH, won an Edgar for the best YA mystery of 2005. I have also written textbooks for educational publishers, including some practice questions for the new SATs.
My wife is working on a major project of her own, and I enjoyed teaching so much that I thought I would begin a new career as a tutor. Just to let you know, I recently heard from two of the students I taught some years ago. One is now a novelist and dedicated one of his novels to me, because I was "the first person who taught me how to write." The other is a successful lawyer in my home town, and looked me up when he was visiting New York. He wanted to tell me how much he appreciated my lessons in clear and effective writing, which he uses every day.
I earned my first money as a proofreader for my father's printing business--when I was just nine years old. I learned to love grammar and the mechanics of writing in high school and never lost that love. When I was a student at the Writer's Workshop of the University of Iowa, my teacher was a (then) little-known writer named Kurt Vonnegut. Oh, and all this somehow helped me to win $500,000 on the quiz show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
I think the basic idea of teaching is to find out what the student's goals are, and then cooperate in helping them to reach those goals. Where would you like to go? I was a teacher in a private school, and then came to New York City to be a writer. I was successful at this, having published more than 100 books, mostly in collaboration with my wife Dorothy. One of our YA novels, IN DARKNESS, DEATH, won an Edgar for the best YA mystery of 2005. I have also written textbooks for educational publishers, including
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