More About the Author
My family moved to Napa, California in 1952, when I was five months old. We moved to a house about five blocks from where I now live. Except for a few years in the Midwest, the Napa Valley has been home for my entire life. Growing up here in the 60's could only be described as idyllic - the freedom experienced by Matt (the protaganist in Silverado Summer) is based on my own experience, especially after I bought my first 10-speed bicycle! During the summer, my best friend and I could get on our bikes, leave our houses at dawn, and not return until sundown, without any of our parents batting an eye. We rarely had a specific destination in mind, eager instead to simply explore the valley from one end to the other - from the derelict stone ruins of Napa Soda Springs, to ghost wineries almost no one knew about, to the leafy shade of "broken dam" high in the western hills and, yes, to the summit of Mt. St. Helena - one by one, we uncovered many of the secret places this valley holds.
I attended local schools, went to the University of California at Berkeley, and went to work for the legendary editor of Sunset Magazine, Walter Doty, right out of college. Along with a handful of others, Walter and I started the immensley successful Ortho Book Series out of Walter's garage in Los Altos. He was 85 years old (not to mention legally blind and deaf) and I was 22. I went on to write some 36 books on gardening and outdoor living and six cookbooks, including The Grilling Encyclopedia, which was nominated for a James Beard Award. Along the way I have been editor-in-chief of three national magazines, authored and illustrated a nationally syndicated newspaper column, In Your Own Backyard, featured in more than 300 newspapers, and hosted a popular video gardening series called Hooked on Gardening.
Silverado Summer is my first work of fiction and a true labor of love. The adventure it describes may have taken place in 1967, but it feels like yesterday to me. I'm please to report that many of the places and sights, sounds, and smells described in the story are the same now as they were then - magical is the only word that comes close to describing all that's contained in this small valley.