The Life and Loves of Tom Gnagey!
Each night after being tucked into bed (back before he could read or write) Tom would dictate stories to his mother who diligently took them down. He has been writing prolifically ever since, with a current bibliography containing over 100 books (novels, social philosophy, verse, and self-help) and more stories than he can count (over 350 in recent years is as close as he can come). He has three passions: writing, helping others improve their writing skills and written products, and speaking about the process of writing and his life as a writer. (A fourth, perhaps, is to leave the world a better place than he found it – not an easy task these days he is finding.) He tends to write from the perspective of positive social values (not to be confused with religious teachings).
He often jokes that his last name is one, which if you see you can't pronounce and if you hear you can't spell. Try it this way: Gna-gey (silent 'G' - long 'A' - GEE as in geese - nā-gēē). He has made sure that his seven pen names are all quite easily pronounced.* His education includes degrees in geography, psychology, education, and philosophy. His career spans teaching at all levels, developing and directing educational programs, and maintaining a clinical psychology practice for nearly 30 years – all the while writing, of course.
When he manages to pull himself away from writing (not an easy task – he writes at least 6 hours every day) he enjoys artistic pursuits such as sculpture, painting, and creating miniature dioramas, and sets some time aside each week to offer free tutoring for youngsters who have difficulty writing in the style of English required by schools.
Tom revels in all that he his has had the opportunity to experience during his 80 years. He feels fortunate that his health has always been good. He has never required a prescription drug, and is able to walk five miles and lift weights for an hour every morning. He chuckles that the nerdy kid of his youth is growing old as a fitness buff. (Nobody enjoys his own foibles more than Tom.) At age 40 he gave up wearing coats and ties in favor of sweaters and loose flowing shirts often bearing wildly obnoxious colors and patterns (he insists they keep his creative juices awake). He wonders about odd things (like, has anybody ever drown in their own creative juices?). He likes to help folks keep smiling.
* PEN NAMES
Garrison Flint, Mysteries (Raymond Masters Detective Series and others)
Mark Miller, Ozark Ghost Stories (mysteries set in the Ozark hill country)
David Drake, Children and Teens
Grampa Gray, Silly verse, homespun philosophy, and fun for senior citizens.
Tom Gnagey (recently most of his pieces are under his own name.)
Tom's books (under whatever pen name) are now available as Paper Backs and eBooks from Amazon.com and as downloads from this website. A few stray original edition print copies remain available on library shelves and continue to wander cyberspace on sites such as eBay and Amazon.
Tom Gnagey [Various Pen Names.*]
In and around a wide variety of endeavors, I have always been a writer, self publishing my first 10 page tome at age nine. (It was something about how to be happy, forever. It seemed pretty simple to me back then – still does, actually.) I spent the first 30 years of my professional life as a Clinical Psychologist working with children, teens, and families. During that period I wrote several self-help and parenting books (see attached) and published several dozen, widely used, psychological and educational tests and remedial material for special needs students.
In recent years I have devoted myself primarily to writing novels and short stories and teaching others to do the same. I also rewrite manuscripts for for those with great stories but less than great writing skills. Writing has always been my passion, second only to saving the world one book at a time. My background in psychology and education has been a natural springboard to bringing believable characters to life.
In order to get to know the day to day joys and struggles of the average Joe, I spent a number of years working at more mundane jobs: soda jerk at Dairy Queen, wallpaper salesman, data input operator, office manager, and kitchen manager in an Italian restaurant (my lasagna is to die for!).
Not long ago a 'student' said she had found over six hundred places on the internet that came up when she Googled my name and pen names. My! My!
BS in education and psychology.
MA in clinical psychology
MS in clinical psychology and education
EDS in Clinical Psychology and education
I make it a policy to pre-circulate what I write to a sample from the target audience and receive feedback for tweaking if not outright revision before it arrives for scrutiny from the editor's eyes. I often print copies of books and stories and given them away to youngsters and seniors who can't afford to buy books. My publisher is The Family of Man Press.
In all, I have written something over 120 books and novels and more than 250 stories. (A partial list is attached.) There are several series of novels, The Raymond Masters Mysteries featuring a lovable, easy going, octogenarian detective, is the largest. There are 15 books in that series and numerous short stories. Marc Miller, ghost writer, is also a detective of sorts who seeks out supernatural goings on and writes about them (first person format). There are five books and several shorter stories in that series. In a series of four, short books about The Little People of the Ozarks, I use a humorous, though often pointed, fantasy format to showcase the effects positive social values can have on life and society. (The Little People are about as tall as grape hyacinths and use their magic to help the mortals who live nearby.) There is a four book action series featuring Tommy Powers, a non-violent, teenage, superhero. The rest fall into the typical, general categories. There are lots of books for children and teens. I often juxtapose an older adult and a youngster, contrasting their takes on life while they learn to treasure the common ground they discover.
I would write everyday, even if nobody ever read a line of it, because I love to write. Putting the pencil to the yellow pad has always been far more important to me than getting published. I write from the viewpoint of positive social values. [That is not to be confused with any religious predisposition.] There is no graphic violence, obscenity, or even words that would have led my mother to apply the bar of soap to my young, all the while protesting, mouth.
As I arrive at my 80th year, I am moved to have my pieces and the philosophy they espouse circulated to those who may be able to enjoy and benefit from them.
Garrison Flint (Mysteries)
Mark Miller (Ghostly goings on)
David Drake (Children and adolescents)
Grampa Gray (Fun for senior citizens)
Tom Gnagey (My own name. I have used it for most everything during the past few years.)