Since he was quite young, Rick knew he wanted to be a writer. After earning a degree in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Rick returned to his native Florida to pursue a career in the arts. While teaching part time and dabbling in the theater, he decided to take a job with the Internal Revenue Service, where he served as a revenue officer for over ten years.
He continued to pursue his lifelong dream of being a full-time writer, however, finally leaving the IRS in 2004 upon the publication of his critically acclaimed memoir, Confessions of a Tax Collector. To date he has published six novels in addition to his memoir and several acclaimed series for young adults known including The 5th Wave and The Monstrumologist.
His Alfred Kropp trilogy for young adults has been published in seventeen countries and was nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, as well as garnering numerous awards since its inception in 2005. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed Teddy Ruzak mystery series for adults.
Rick is the proud father of three sons. He lives in Florida with his wife, Sandy. When he isn't daydreaming, he likes long walks with his wife and taking trips to Georgia's Golden Isles and doing projects around the house because writing doesn't seem like real work, or at least not the kind of rough, callous-producing work you do on a cattle ranch.
12 things you don't know about me:
1. When I was little, my favorite book was “Are You My Mother?” Around the same time, my parents told me I was adopted. The seeds of angst were planted early.
2. I have food enthusiasms. For two solid months, I’ll eat Oreos every night (about 8) with a tall glass of milk. Then I won’t eat another Oreo for six months. One month it may be Pop Tarts, the next, chocolate ice cream.
3. I obsessively watch American Idol every season.
4. My wife is a Daughter of the American Revolution, descended from patriots on both sides of her family. I am descended from Swedish people. When her ancestors were fighting for a new nation, mine were fishing.
5. My dinner conversation is 50% original, 50% quotes from my favorite movies and television shows. I think it’s a nice balance; my family does not. This year I was fond of blurting out, as Sandy passed the mashed potatoes, “I am the danger!”
6. When I help my son with his essays, his grades go DOWN. I am still struggling with this fact.
7. My dog likes to hold hands.
8. Nothing creeps me out more than a hair clog.
9. I talk to mean reviewers. I know, I know, they can’t hear me, but I still argue with them. “I am the one who knocks!”
10. I’ve lived in the following places: Lakeland, Florida; Tallahassee; Chicago; Winter Haven, Florida; Knoxville; and Gainesville. I liked Knoxville the best.
11. It took me four tries to get through The Lord of the Rings. Then another two or three to understand who everybody was and what all the fuss was about with that ring.
12. My sons’ names all begin with the letter J.