My Official Author Bio:
In a time not long after the fifth extinction event, Edgar Award-nominated author Michael D. Beil came of age on the shores of Pymatuning Lake, where the ducks walk on the fish. (Look it up. Seriously.) For reasons that can’t be disclosed until September 28, 2041, he now lives somewhere in Portugal with his wife and their two white cats, Bruno and Maisie. He still gets carsick if he has to ride in the back seat for long and feels a little guilty that he doesn’t keep a journal.
And Here's (Probably) More Than You Want (or Need) to Know:
My writing career began at age 13 when I wrote, directed, and filmed The Seaweed Strangler, an eight millimeter movie with my brother Steve starring in the title role. (Follow this link to watch the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE6nHYl-DEY) I grew up in the very small town of Andover, Ohio (pop. 1200) on the shores of Pymatuning Lake, and, despite what uninformed people might tell you about small town life, I can say with absolute certainty that I was never, ever bored. I swam, sailed, skated, played baseball, explored, and never once complained that our twelve inch black-and-white TV got exactly one channel (Channel 12 in Erie, PA, in case you're interested). Actually, I’m thankful for that last part; poor TV reception helped me to become the reader I am today.
After leaving Andover for college and work, writing took a back seat for a few years, but it never left my mind. Every time I read a great book, it is like someone blowing on an ember, until it finally catches fire. I had been through college and law school, but deep down, I always knew that I was going to write, one way or the other. But first, a career change! When we were living in Boston, I went back to school to become a teacher and then taught at a middle school for two years, but when my wife, Laura Grimmer, was asked open the Manhattan office of a PR agency, we jumped at the opportunity -- after all, from the day we met, it had been our dream to live and work in New York City.
Within a few weeks of arriving in New York, I landed a job teaching at St. Vincent Ferrer High School, an all-girls school on the Upper East Side. I decided it was also time to get serious about writing, and during breaks I wrote a (never to be published) novel, Beagle Dreams. I had never really considered writing for kids until Laura suggested it, but once she did, I ran with it. I got an amazing head start one day in my freshman English class. One of my students was staring out the window at the gothic-style church next door, and wondered aloud: “What if someone was staring back at us from one of those little windows up by the roof?” At that moment, I knew I had a story. My own students were the inspiration for Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann -- the Red Blazer Girls, and I wrote the first draft of the novel over the summer break. It underwent a million or two changes, but ultimately became my first novel, The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour. Three more Red Blazers Girls books followed, along with three standalone novels (Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits; Summer at Forsaken Lake; Agents of the Glass: A New Recruit).
Right now, I'm super-excited about my new series for Pixel+Ink Books, The Swallowtail Legacy! The first book in the series, titled Wreck at Ada's Reef will publish in February 2022 and the second will follow a year later.