As a boy, he was a rebel, doing the opposite of what his parents wanted him to do. When his mother wanted him to read, he refused, and it was not until the age of 19 that he read his first novel. His mother often read to him at night, and he found himself interested in the stories. With poor spelling and grammatical skills, he received low grades in English classes and writing compositions.
However, his imagination and humor were present, although they went unnoticed. When he was about to graduate from high school, his English teacher told him he would never make it in college English classes. John found himself in low-level English classes, making worse grades than foreign students on his composition assignments.
With a lack of encouragement from teachers, he did not write any stories between the ages of 18 and 28. During that time, he started the Num Num Novelty Company, selling plastic neckties filled with water and goldfish. His brother finally got him to enroll in a television writing class, and his writing career finally began after 10 lost years.
After six years of attempting to sell a script to television producers, he sent a manuscript about a boy and his dog, Stone Fox, to a book publisher, which was purchased for print. The publisher knew that good stories had more than just proper grammar and spelling. John’s first children’s book has been translated into six foreign languages.