JUMP IN. HANG ON.Tom is a highly imaginative Christy Award-winning author from Tyndale House Publishers. His first novel, "Vanish" won the Operation First Novel Contest sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and Tyndale House. Released in June 2008, "Vanish" went on to win a Christy Award in the Visionary category. His follow up sequel, "Valley of the Shadow" was released in June of 2009. His third novel, "Beckon" is due out in early 2011.Tom's fascination with the weird, the creepy and the unknown began at a very early age when he was introduced to a bizarre 19th century German story book called "Der Struwwelpeter". The book was a collection of nightmarish morality tales by a German physician who obviously had too much time on his hands and no children of his own. The morbid nursery rhymes--sort of a Mother Goose meets Stephen King--included the frightful "Daumenlutscher" (Thumbsucker), a disturbing yarn about a young boy who was warned that if he continued to suck his thumbs, the local tailor would come in and chop them off with his sewing shears. You can guess the story's gruesome ending has scared many a child out of surreptitiously savoring their opposable digits over the years. Other tales warned against playing with matches and being overly messy. Needless to say Tom never played with matches, generally kept his room clean and to this day retains the use of both his thumbs.But the psychological damage was already done, and Tom's warped imagination turned him to writing his own creepy stories at a rather young age. Alas, no publishers were brave enough to bring his stories to print, so Tom would not realize his life-long dream of becoming a published author until the ripe old age of 42. Today, Tom lives in Ohio and is happily married with five children of his own... who, oddly enough, never sucked their thumbs.