From the Publisher: “Every four years, coverage of the presidential election turns more into a horse-race story about who’s leading the polls and who said what when. Younger readers, who might be old enough to remember only one or two other elections, aren’t provided with much information about how the election process actually works, why it matters, or how they can become involved. With civics education becoming less common in schools, it’s important for teens to know what’s going on.

“With the 2016 election promising to be an interesting and hotly contested one, Votes of Confidence will be a timely resource that can generate news coverage, while written in an evergreen way that can remain relevant after the next president is chosen. Using a fun, casual voice and interesting sidebars and anecdotes that tell stories rather than just list facts, this book will provide teachers with a supplemental resource and readers with an engaging way to better understand their government.”


My new book, Rockin’ the Boat, detailing the lives of 50 revolutionaries throughout history, is complete and will be released on 3 March 2015 by Zest Books. Read a review from Publishers Weekly or Kirkus.

The book includes a wide variety of rebels and revolutionaries, including winners and losers, heroes and anti-heroes, military leaders and non-violent protesters, ancient and modern figures. It is available for pre-order from a range of sellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, , Google Books, Target and Wal-Mart, and to the trade through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Hachette.

Internationally, the book is available in my former homes of New Zealand via MightyApe and Australia via Fishpond. Amazon has it available in Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, France, and Spain.

From the Publisher: “We love to root for the underdog, and that’s part of why we’re drawn to the stories of revolutionaries. Whether they fail, succeed, or succeed only to become what they once fought against, people who can rally others to their cause and shake up the status quo tend to be inherently interesting. Rockin’ the Boat tells the stories of 50 such legends throughout the world, from people fed up with the Roman Empire and the revolutionaries who helped create America.”


My first book, The Latest Craze: A Short History of Mass Hysterias (Fall River Press/Sterling, 2011) is now available at Barnes & Noble stores around the country and at

The Latest Craze is an educational but fun-to-read history of bubbles, fads, hysterias and trends, featuring sixty-three crazes in seven categories:

1. Financial Panics, Bubbles and Crashes. (From the tulip bubble of 1630s Holland to the housing bubble of 2000s America)

2. Mass Hysterias. (Oft-unexplained phenomena, including a dancing plague, a laughter epidemic, and a mysterious monkey man)

3. Moral Panics. (Spanning witch hunts and fears of the occult to attempts to censor literature and blame suicide on musicians)

4. Fashion Fads. (Best-forgotten hairstyles and clothing styles)

5. Cultural Manias. (The fads that impacted pop culture, be they hit albums, must-have toys, trendy diets or book series)

6. Technological Trends and Fears. (From the real Luddites of Britain to the neo-Luddites of today)

7. Beyond-Our-Control Panics. (Fears about alien life, catastrophic disasters, and even the end of the world)

From the Publisher: “Each entry offers a description of the conditions that caused the situation, examples of extreme behavior, the peak of the hysteria, and the consequences (immediate and ultimate). Will we ever learn? Probably not, but it’s as entertaining as it is enlightening to see how the parade of absurdity continues to play out.”


Several of my short fiction stories have been published as chapbooks in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal. “Animal Husbandry” also appears in Short Stories from Printers Row, a collection of Tribune-published fiction. Other short-fiction stories of mine have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Shenandoah, Deep South Magazine, So It Goes by the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, East Bay Review, Steam Ticket Third Coast Review, Pioneertown, HCE Review, Mikrokosmos Journal, The Sea Letter, Slippery Elm, The Rush, Scene & Heard, Eastern Iowa Review, See the Elephant, Sliver of Stone, Typhishly, The Olive Press, Jet Fuel Review, Chicago Literati, The Write Launch, Birch Gang Review, Mulberry Fork Review, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, Tower Journal, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, Indiana Voice Journal, Stepping Stones Magazine, Zoetic Press NonBinary Review, Panoply, Fear of Monkeys, Avatar Review and Crack the Spine.