Charlie Snider

I experienced early fame when I won a cartooning contest that landed me on the evening news in my hometown of Binghamton, NY.  The

contest had two judges.  One was Ray Gotto, designer of the famed New York Mets logo (below), as well as the writer-artist of a once-

beloved baseball comic strip, Cotton Woods (further below).  The other judge was Don Sherwood, who wrote and drew the comic version of

The Phantom (who knows what evil lurks in the hearts . . .)
Mets logo, drawn by Ray Gotto 
As a college undergraduate, I studied ergonamic design at Cornell University, where I once designed a workstation

for a Centaur.  Have you noticed how tall Centaurs are?  Don’t even get me started on their hindquarters. 

One summer I worked as an intern at Steelcase, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Steelcase designs and makes chairs!



I was later accepted to the Georgia Tech Masters of Architecture program, but after an internship with Tai Soo Kim (designer of the S.


Korea Museum of Modern Art), in Hartford, CT, decided that I did not want to draw with a T-square for the rest of my life.  Instead, I


changed course, and went to work for a bank, managing renovations as a liaison to their architecture firm.  I know, I snored a lot then,





Wasn't long before I realized there were more straight lines in banking than there were in architecture.  So, I went to work for


Doubleday Books, in the West Farms (Farmington, CT) Mall, and signed up for Wesleyan University’s MALS program.  That’s a


Master of Arts in Liberal Studies for those of you who don’t speak Acronym, though others might call it MALSosaurus for its
resemblance to the king of dinosaurs.  



While juggling graduate school and work at the book shop, I met a wonderful and smart woman.  One night, aboard the Becky
Thatcher, a paddlewheel boat on the Connecticut River, as the wheel of the boat threw mist toward the stars that shown brightly in a
clear night sky, I approached this statuesque redhead . . . and asked if she worked at the mall - my best opening line!  She laughed
because she'd never even set foot in a mall.  We knew then and there that we would make a great team.
In fact, we have.  In Liberal Arts, I have strived to keep people awake.  An anesthesiologist, she has strived to keep them asleep.
As part of our team, I had to follow her to Seattle while she completed a Pain Fellowship (oxymoron anyone?) at a hospital
there.  Pain Fellowship means she trained to ease the pain of people who always, every day, struggled with pain.  People sick with
cancer, for instance.  It was a noble thing to do, and who wouldn't want to be married to someone like that?


Cotton Woods, the all-time

great baseball comic, by

Ray Gotto.


In Seattle, I worked at the world’s greatest book shop, The Elliott Bay Book


Co.  Nightly, I got to see and hear the likes of Norman Mailer and Jane Smiley


read from their books, a lesson on how valuable it can be for an author to get


out and meet their readers.  The wonderful old shop, with its creaky wood floors and dusty


smells, cemented my lifelong love of books.



Nowadays, I live in Asheville, in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, with


my wife and two kids.  Several times a week, for the last ten years, I have enjoyed tutoring and reading to kids in elementary and middle


schools in precisely the same age group, 10-14 for which I wrote The Disappearance of Harry Gilmore.  



The only other thing you need to know about me is that  the stacks of books in my house have once again outgrown our


bookshelves.  Some of my favorites, and books that have inspired me, include The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane and


Tiger Rising, both by Kate diCamillo, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, and The Odyssey, by Homer.  If you haven't
read these books yet, please do.  They might change your life the way they did mine.