Steve Shilstone is a benign elderly hippie lite loon living in Northern California. He fancies himself to be a prosemaker and a dadaist with a small d who enjoys hanging out at the intersection of Humor and Nonsense. In times ago, he was a youth baseball coach for 25 years, a distributor of mail for the United States Postal Service, a stock associate employed by a no longer with us department store, a cartoonist of little note, a painter of littler note, and an anthropology student at UCLA.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Steve moved as a toddler with his family to Denver, Colorado, where his passion for books was sparked early by such titles as McElligot’s Pool, The Little House, Little Toot, and more. His father’s employment with the Pennsylvania Railroad had the family moving to Seattle, Washington when Steve was 10. There he dragged home an armload of books every week from the library. He plowed through the Oz books, the horse books, and the dog books while maintaining vast stacks of comic books, mainly Little Lulu and Scrooge McDuck. It was at this time that he wrote his first piece, something called ‘Art Ant Off To War’.
Lo, the teenage years raged in and found Steve’s family – an older brother, a younger brother, a father and a mother – plunked down for good in Redwood City, California on the San Francisco peninsula. Now Steve’s reading frenzy really kicked into high gear. He buzzsawed through all of Dickens and all of Tolstoy in addition to his regular mound of scifi and fantasy and Moby Dick on the side. Trapped in the tentacles of teenageritis, he wrote stories with titles like ‘The Coffin’ and ‘The Guillotine’. Anguished poetry was a given.
Steve eventually attended and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology, and following that, gave thanks for the asthma which exempted him from a trip to Vietnam. From then until on, he painted and wrote, observed hippiedom with interest from the sidelines, distributed mail for the United States Postal Service, unloaded trucks and worked in the stockrooms of various Mervyn’s department stores, coached youth baseball for a quarter of a century, and became parental. He also finally got around to reading Ulysses by James Joyce, thereby freeing his writing self from the shackles of convention.
His baseball novel, Chance, debuted in 1996. His middle grade fantasy e-book series, The Bekka Chronicles, began appearing in 2010. He lives sometimes in Redwood City, sometimes at South Lake Tahoe. He continues to play with words. His child of hippies novel, Vineyard’s Children, is due out in 2014 from Livingston Press.