General Reference & Fascination

Among the quirkiest books I’ve ever written, this one was a surprisingly complex undertaking. It involved researching and developing a list of viable projects, writing them up in a suitably witty way, and providing detailed instructions including sketches for photo shoots. Some books are just plain fun to write. <i>Manskills: How to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself and Impress Everyone Else</i>, was one of those. A general-reference guide to all the things any self-respecting man should know, it is written from a tongue-in-cheek approach that I get a kick out of as a writer and a reader. I’m an unabashed conservationist and environmentalist, so I jumped at the chance to write a book that honors the homesteading and back-to-basics movement. Along with my co-author, I researched topics, developed the preliminary designs for the fabricator, and wrote surrounding copy. Written in the slightly irreverent, accessible and captivating style of <i>Popular Mechanics</i> (if you haven’t read the magazine recently, I urge you to do so), this book compiles over a hundred short solutions to common emergencies. It is my favorite type of book: highly useful and entertaining. The Boy Mechanic series was an unusual project executed for Hearst Books. I culled 100-year-old material from publications and back issues in the Popular Mechanics extensive library, editing and rewriting as necessary to create topic-driven fascination books. I try to be extremely flexible in meeting clients’ needs, whatever they may be. Like <i>Manskills, How to Carve a Turkey</i> is a compilation of techniques every well-rounded man should know. I researched each item in the book, interviewing professionals in the field, whose quotes I included in the text. A survey of 21 of the leading architectural glass artists in the world, <i>The Art of Stained Glass</i> was my first book. As with many of the books I’ve written since, this one involved crafting copy around vivid images, as well as soliciting, editing and tracking all the photos used in the book. My basic woodworking background came in handy on this book. The goal was to repackage existing projects from the pages of <i>Popular Mechanics</i>, into a standardized book format with photo-rich step-by-steps. I added tips and techniques in support of each given project.

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