Born in rural northern Kentucky, Michael Capek was rescued from youthful shyness and academic failure by communing with nature and reading. Writing gave him a voice and an identity in his teen years and offered a path out of self-doubt and despair. An encounter with author Jesse Stuart in his first year at Cumberland College (Williamsburg, Kentucky) confirmed what he had sensed for years--that his own destiny lay in teaching and writing. Michael married his high school sweetheart, Terri Richardson, in 1969, and they spent a combined 58 years teaching in Kentucky's public schools. Michael retired from the classroom in 1996 to write full time. Today, he roams the same valleys he explored as a child, still finding peace and inspiration in nature, reading, and writing. Sharing those things with children--particularly his grandchildren--continues to be one of his greatest joys.