I have written books on parenting, food, automobiles, true crime, a multimillionaire business entrepreneur, golf, running, fishing, baseball, and games for children. As diverse as these titles may seem, they all share one common ingredient: an interest in people. People fascinate me. Whatever I write about, people are at the heart of it.
Here are several of my popular and successful nonfiction titles.
The Everything Father to Be Book. Simon & Schuster/Adams Media, 3rd edition. As the father of four, I am a big believer in fathers being active in the lives of their children, even before their children are born. I am truly honored by the success of this book. With more than 175,000 copies in print (and counting), tens of thousands of expectant fathers and mothers have used it for advice, inspiration, and humor.
Another successful parenting title of mine, The Daddy Guide, was published by Contemporary Books. I appeared on the popular “Mornings on Two” show on KTVU-TV, the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, and many other media outlets discussing the vital role that fathers play in their families. The Portuguese publisher Lyon Edicoes released a Portuguese edition for parents in Portugal and Brazil. “The Daddy Guide” translates to O Guia Do Pai in Portuguese.
The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball. Heyday Books, Berkeley. A history of California baseball from gold rush days to the coming of the major leagues to the state in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Named “Top Book of the Year” by San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, California Journal, California Historian.
Summer Reading Choice, NBC-TV’s “The Today Show,” featured on air.
Silver Medalist, national ForeWord Magazine Book of Year Awards.
National Finalist, Seymour Medal, awarded to best baseball book of year.
Subject of KVIE-TV public television documentary that aired on PBS stations around U.S.
Reviews and features: San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Sports Illustrated, Publishers Weekly, Long Beach Press Telegram, more.
Radio and TV appearances: National Public Radio, “California Report,” ESPN Radio, KNBR 680, KPCC Los Angeles, KCLV-TV San Diego, WQTM Orlando, Florida, more.
Personal appearances: Commonwealth Club, San Francisco; Pasadena Historical Museum; Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation; Petco Park, San Diego; Catalina Island Museum, more.
New, updated edition of The Golden Game, reprinted by University of Nebraska Press, Bison Books.
The Runner’s Book of Daily Inspiration. McGraw-Hill. Motivational book for runners. I have written two books for runners, and this one really touched a chord with them. It had multiple printings, sold 26,000 in hardcover, and best of all, I received many comments from people saying how it really did inspire them to get off the couch and run or jog. Running is a popular activity in the Netherlands, too, and Becht Publishers released a Dutch edition. The Runner’s Book of Daily Inspiration, in Dutch, is Hardlopen met Bezeling.
Wheels of Change. Heyday Books. My very big book on automobile history and the winner of the Valentine Award for excellence in automotive history, the first of two such awards I’ve received from the Society of Automotive Historians.
Wheels of Change led me to become a research consultant for Pixar’s animated movie, Cars 3. The production team at Pixar liked the book and invited me to a story meeting at their studios in Emeryville, California. We talked cars for about an hour while Rob Gibbs, a brilliant cartoonist and then the director of the movie, drew pictures of Lightning McQueen and Mater, which he signed and gave to me for my sons. I later took Rob and Pixar’s creative team on a tour of southern California for a three-day research trip on cars and car places.
Operation Bullpen. Investigative true crime account of national forgery ring busted by three-year FBI undercover operation.
Optioned for movie development by screen agent Harlan Werner, Los Angeles.
Subject of two TV documentaries: “Masterminds” Tru TV and ESPN Films 30 for 30.
Prepublication excerpts: Sports Collectors Digest and Sports Collectors Daily.
Reviews and features: New York Daily News, LA Observed, Staten Island Advance, Maxim, Oakland Tribune, FHM Magazine, Autograph Magazine, Sports Collectors Digest, Sports Collectors Daily, Benicia Herald, Vallejo Times-Herald, Pen and Quill.
TV and radio appearances: Masterminds Tru TV, ESPN’s “The Host List,” Daybreak USA, USA Radio, National Sports Business Hour, The Traders Speak.
Foodie Snob. Lyons Press, 2017. What does a professional writer do? He (or she) writes. Proof of that is Foodie Snob, one of three books I wrote for this Connecticut publisher in 18 months. This one was easily the most fun. It gave me the chance to write about food and foodies and cooking and restaurants, all interests of mine. Together with Running Snob, another title of mine, it kicked off a humorous “Snob” series planned by the publisher.
Lunches With Mr. Q. A biography of a multimillionaire business entrepreneur and the winner of my second Valentine Award for excellence in automotive history.
One of the best things about writing is that it gives you the chance to meet people you ordinarily would not be able to meet. Lunches With Mr. Q is about one of the most fascinating men I’ve ever met, a Norwegian-born immigrant named Kjell Qvale who came to this country not speaking a word of English and without a penny to his name, eventually turning his passion for automobiles into a remarkable business career. I was introduced to Mr. Q by another great man of cars and business, Martin Swig. Both Martin and Mr. Q are gone now, and I miss them both.
Baseball’s Greatest Quotes. Fireside/Simon & Schuster. My first book and a sentimental favorite. It was also a critical and sales success with reviews and excerpts in People, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. It sold 25,000 and led to Baseball’s Greatest Insults, which sold 65,000. I then did a series of four more sports humor books that appealed to adults as well as young people.
We held the launch party for Baseball’s Greatest Quotes in Hayward, California, where I grew up. My mother and brother and loads of friends from high school showed up. It was quite touching. The old hometown came out in support of the hometown boy, and I hope to this day that I’ve done them proud.