James Ponti 

That's me on the left. My brother had just graduated from high school and that same day I made a construction paper bird. I couldn't understand why my mom would want to take a picture of him without me and my bird - I mean, it was a really nice bird. So here I am inventing the photo bomb years before there even was a term for it. We're in our backyard in Atlantic Beach, Florida. It was a great place to grow up, just two blocks from the ocean and two blocks from Atlantic Beach Elementary, which is where I began my writing career. The very next year I wrote my first story. It was about Mickey Mouse and his friends throwing him a surprise birthday party. Donald, Minnie and Goofy all chipped in to buy him a lamp. The funny thing is, years later I actually ended up writing for the Disney Channel show Mickey Mouse Club and one of the sketches I wrote was a special about Mickey that aired on his 65th birthday. I met my wife, Denise, on a blind date in college and we've been married for over 25 years. She teaches high school American history and a course called Theory of Knowledge. (Yeah, she's really smart.) She's also the person who reads and edits everything first and keeps me from pulling out what little hair I have left. My sons are named Alex and Grayson. (The characters in the Dead City books are named after them.) Alex passed away in March of 2015. He was severely autistic and epileptic and we miss him every day and cherish all of our memories with him. Grayson has now grown into a full fledged college student. He goes to school in Ohio (apparently he liked the snow) and is majoring in English. They are my inspirations and my heroes.
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