I've been associated with the book world nearly my entire adult life. I spent more than twenty years working for major book publishers, including gigs as Deputy Publisher of Bantam Books (where I was founder of the Bantam Spectra imprint) and Publisher of Berkley Books and Avon Books. During that time, I worked with a tremendous range of industry professionals, including the great Ray Bradbury, the estimable Ian Ballantine, the remarkable people at Lucasfilm, and brilliant writers far too numerous to mention – romance writers, science fiction writers, thriller writers, literary novelists, thought leaders, and great entertainers.
From the very beginning of my publishing career, though, I longed to be a writer myself. In fact, I got into the publishing business in the first place because I thought it would be advantageous to my writing career. For the longest time, this ambition stayed on hold; presiding over the publication of four hundred titles a year at Avon, for example, is pretty much a full-time job. Eventually, though, I left the corporate side of publishing behind to sit on the other side of the desk. My first novel, The Forever Year, came out in 2004 (originally under the name "Ronald Anthony" because I wanted to separate this profession from my publishing profession) with my first nonfiction book, A Million Thanks (a collaboration with Shauna Fleming) coming a year later. Twenty-seven more books have followed, including the New York Times bestsellers The Element and Finding Your Element (both with Sir Ken Robinson), and the national bestsellers The Culture Code (with Dr. Clotaire Rapaille), Blue, When You Went Away, The Journey Home, Anything, and Leaves. The republished edition of The Forever Year (this time under my own name) hit the USA Today bestseller list.
In the late aughts, I found myself pulled toward the other side of publishing again and, with literary agent Peter Miller, I launched the independent fiction house The Story Plant. With my new partner Mitchell Maxwell, The Story Plant has grown into a multimedia operation, working in books, film, and theatre, with more enterprises on the way. Between The Story Plant and my writing career, I've found the happy medium I was looking for in the book business. I am a former president of Novelists Inc. and a winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Editor.
Beyond books, I have four main passions. Chief among these (books included) is my family: my wife Kelly, my four children – Molly, David, Abigail, and Tigist – and my son-in-law Arun. I am abundantly aware of how fortunate I am to have these loving, wise, and entertaining people in my life, and I literally count my blessings every single day.
The other passions, in no particular order, are music (particularly rock music), baseball (particularly the New York Yankees), and food (nothing in particular; I'll cook and eat just about anything). All of these show up in various ways in my books (best food book: The Journey Home; best music book: Flash and Dazzle, best baseball book: When You Went Away).
I live in Southern Connecticut, where I celebrate the sophistication and diversity and grumble about the winters. My current book project is a collaboration with the extraordinary motivational speaker Trent Shelton.