I got my Ph.D in archaeology at the University of Michigan, specializing in ancient Rome and Egypt. But I became better known as a New York Times #1 best-selling writer of Star Wars guide books. My books won national library association awards and have sold over 2 million copies in a dozen languages around the world.
My rediscovery of the lost filming locations of the first Star Wars movie in the Sahara Desert won me a marketing job working for Lucasfilm at Skywalker Ranch, where I ran the starwars.com website, helped edit theatrical trailers and MTV music videos, and wrote my best-selling books. I really "put myself into my work" as you can see. That's me wearing the original film-used Darth Vader and Boba Fett costumes for photo shoots for my books.
From Star Wars I turned to adult non-fiction books, writing an acclaimed history of the Apollo moon landings with NASA, followed by a history of Kennedy Space Center. I also wrote about rocketry for the Smithsonian, dinosaurs for National Geographic, and the geography of world religion for Hammond Atlases... between doing articles for popular, juvenile, and academic periodicals.
For media outlets I serve as an expert guest helping the public better understand events in space, science, dinosaurs, and archaeology. Appearances have included a solo hour on Voice of America in Washington, D.C. and guest shots on FOX-TV, as well as various local news programs around the USA. For the BBC in London I served as a Star Wars documentary host, for The Discovery Channel I was a consultant on dinosaur science, and for a Universal Studios documentary I spoke about Egyptology.
My scientific and other field projects have taken me all over the world, from Cairo to Peru and from the Amazon to the Arctic. I am always in search of first-hand experience so I can offer my audiences and readers an eyewitness perspective.
Running throughout my work are the central themes of science and good communication. Whether it is public outreach for a government agency like the Canadian DFO or marketing for a billion-dollar Hollywood corporation like Lucasfilm, I use my voice to reach audiences and get the client's message across in an engaging and effective fashion. For the icebreaker poster at right I led the research and design team, including two missions into the high arctic to gather material.
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