Bio

Hello!                                                                                                                   stanek

I am an award-winning Ohio author who has a passion for writing, teaching, animals, and conservation. My book, Once Upon an Elephant (Arbordale Publishing) won the 2017 Children’s Choice Book Award’s 3rd-4th grade Book of the Year and has been named a 2019-2020 Choose to Read Ohio title. Night Creepers (Arbordale Publishing), about nocturnal and crepuscular animals, released in September, 2017. Beco’s Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One (the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium) chronicles the first year of their youngest elephant’s life. I worked as lead writer for a chapter of the text book, Cheetahs, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes (Academic Press) which released in November 2017.  Also in the works is a children’s book titled, Cheetah Dreams (Arbordale Publishing), which releases in the fall of 2019.  In addition to these books, I am the author of a grade-leveled, STEM-oriented comic book series, Sheeba and the Private Detectives, issues 1-24, which releases in Pakistan in 2018. I am represented by Victoria A. Selvaggio of the Storm Literary Agency.

In addition to writing, I regularly speak in schools, at conferences, and in zoo and wildlife centers.

For a more complete resume, click here.

author baby pic
Me. Many, many moons ago.

More miscellaneous information about me:

Favorite candy: dark chocolate.

Interests: In addition to writing and drawing, I have a keen interest in conservation, cat rescue, kitten fostering, humane reduction and control of feral cat populations, history, fossils, nature, animals, and genealogy.

kittens 1
Some of my foster babies

Hobbies: I enjoy crafting and all types of art, sewing and crocheting, but most of all, I love writing. (Okay, that’s work, not a hobby.)

Birthday: April 1st—no foolin’!

A place I would like to travel to: The Andaman Sea, in Thailand. This is the setting of my novel, The Andaman Pearl, and I feel quite sure there is not a more beautiful place on the earth. I would also like to see Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Rome.

Favorite Animal: How could I pick just one? Well, if I had to, I might say the rabbit. I had a pet bunny named “Cloudy” once, and he was very sweet! Wait a minute–if bunnies are my favorite animal, why do I have three cats now, and zero bunnies? Hmmmm…

Most embarrassing moment: Catching a duck between my knees during a training           cubby babysession at a wildlife rehabilitation center. I couldn’t get a good grip on it, so I had to stand there as it squawked and quacked, until the instructor came over and rescued us both!

First job: My first job was working in a doughnut shop. I was allowed to eat all the donuts I wanted, because my boss knew that soon I wouldn’t want any more. And it was true! After the first couple weeks in doughnut heaven, I didn’t want any more. But to this day, I can’t eat a cold doughnut. They are so much better hot out of the fryer. (Or from the microwave, as the case may be!)

Great experiences I’ve had as an author: Riding in the Goodyear blimp, being puffed-at by an elephant, and being licked by a big, purring cheetah.