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. The funny story was always a lot more satisfying than the straight one.
I thought then, and still think that writing is a very cool thing to do with one’s life.
I was born in Rochester, New York, spent most of my childhood in the small Finger Lakes town of Penn Yan, New York, and then moved to the Pocono mountains area of Pennsylvania during my high school years. I wanted to travel and explore the world, so I studied journalism and creative writing at the University of Arizona at the end of the '70s, and then got a job at New York Magazine straight out of college as an editorial assistant. I have lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Seattle and I once spent three months working on a cruise ship that sailed the Atlantic Ocean. When I became a travel writer I wound up writing about cruises, which is a whole lot more fun than working on them.
Travel writing for magazines was a blast, as much fun as a writer could have. Making it up as I went along, I searched 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 across America 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 newspaper, and a columnist and frequent contributor to the sublime Diversion magazine. One time I went to Tokyo and wound up eating dinner with real sumo wrestlers. That made for some story.
When I wasn't traveling or writing for magazines, I found time to publish books, including Fountain of Youth, a novel set in my childhood home town; Trading Manny: How a Father & Son Learned to Love Baseball Again, a memoir about baseball and parenting; and now, The Comedy Keeper, a funny novel for young adult and middle-grade readers. Earlier in my career I had the honor and privilege of writing Just Let Me Play: The Story of Charlie Sifford, an as-told-to autobiography of professional golfer Charlie Sifford.
I have more fun books for kids up my sleeve, and am working on one right now about baseball.
I now live 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 lives in New York City.
My favorite thing to do (besides writing)? Duh! Going to Paris with my family and eating at incredible bakeries every single day!