I always wanted to be a writer, as far back as high school when I wrote stories for the school newspaper and then went home and wrote parodies of the same stories to amuse myself and my friends. I thought then, and still think that writing is a very cool thing to do with one’s life.
It's a job that chooses you, however. It's a calling, a tough way to make a living, as precarious as can be, alternately maddening and frustrating and deeply fulfilling. You have to really want to do this job; it doesn't make any sense to do it for other reasons.
I studied journalism and creative writing at the University of Arizona at the end of the '70s, and even got a job at New York Magazine straight out of college as an editorial assistant. But I didn't really become a writer until I turned thirty, quit a career in public relations that was looking far too successful, and went on the road to write travel stories and articles for magazines.
Travel writing was a blast, as much fun as a writer could have. Making it up as I went along, I got to do things like search northern Thailand for noodles for Saveur; chronicled the feats of Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii’s greatest athlete, for Sports Illustrated; played the golf courses of Scotland as a P.G. Wodehouse character for Islands; asked my butler to bring pizzas and Yoohoos to my St. Regis hotel suite for Virtuoso Travel Life; and wrote about Microsoft millionaires, Mexican resorts and scuba-diving in Indiana sloughs for Town & Country, Bon Appetit and Aqua, respectively. When I wasn't writing travel features, I got to be the “How-to Guru” columnist for Premiere magazine, the “Video Vagabond” reviewer for the Chicago Tribune for several years; and a columnist for the sublime Diversion magazine.
When I wasn't traveling or writing for magazines, I found time to publish eight books, including Fountain of Youth. My ninth will be Trading Manny, a memoir about baseball and parenting, in the Spring of 2012. Since moving to Oregon in 2008, I also createdwww.OregonWine.com, a web magazine covering the Oregon wine industry, and serve as its editor and publisher.
Prior to my career as a writer, I worked as an editorial assistant at New York Magazine and a public relations executive for Walt Disney Home Video, where I helped launch the home video releases of Disney’s animated features, working closely with Disney veterans like Wolfgang Reitherman, who directed many of Disney’s animated features in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and Jack Kinney, who directed most of the Goofy cartoons of Disney’s heyday. Moving to Media Home Entertainment, an independent video distributor, I promoted andpublicized a wide range of genre movies, and staged publicity tours with the likes of Robert (“Freddy Krueger”) Englund, an experience that led to my first magazine sale in Premiere.
I grew up in Penn Yan, New York on Keuka Lake, the setting forFountain of Youth, and now reside in McMinnville, Oregon, in the heart of Oregon's wine region with wife Kris and sons Joe and Henry; my eldest son Michael is a professional jazz vocalist (www.michaelgullomusic.com) who toured in the summer of 2009 as lead vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
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