Phil Rink wanted a water ski when he was fifteen years old, so he bought a mahogany plank and built one. Later, at his first engineering job, dissatisfied with the performance of a water treatment cell, Phil built several prototypes in his garage. His innovations were patented and eventually became the basis for an entire water sanitation industry. Phil's ability to build, as well as think, led to a successful problem solving career and eleven patents, so far.
When he and his family couldn't find accessible but substantial books about inventing and science for kids, and especially boys, Phil decided to write his own. The plot of the first book, "Jimi & Isaac 3a: The Mars Mission," came together during a cross-country drive from Florida to Washington State. Completing the book took the next eight years. Phil learned to apply mythic structure to modern settings and to place the story in a specific setting without drowning it in dry details or trite conventions.
Over time, Phil has become more convinced of the need for relevant, updated stories to help boys find their place in the world. Classic myth and modern fantasy are useful to discuss values, but they don't clearly relate to the practical issues of growing up in a quickly changing world where boys may not follow their father's career, play their father's sport, or readily apply their father's life lessons (if they even have a father or father figure). His books help boys understand and accommodate accelerating change, but also give them a stable place to stand while they write the stories of their own lives.