Tim Myers, though born in Oregon, grew up in a very Catholic family in Colorado Springs, Colorado, under the shadow of Pikes Peak.  He’s the oldest of eleven children.  The Myers are mainly Irish and German by extraction (though the Irish side seems to have won out—suffice it to say he’s rarely shy and retiring). 

He started writing poetry in sixth grade, for a reason he still can’t quite fathom.  His first poem concerned the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Tim was a fairly cheerful youth, actually), which his teacher, Sister Boniface, praised, though probably for non-literary reasons.  Her encouragement led him to more poetry, and he’s profoundly grateful to her.  At about that time his mother Tedde bought the family an old upright piano, and after Tim weaseled out of taking lessons he began to play on his own and write songs, which he continues to do today.

In high school Tim earned a number of honors as a football player, among them a High-School All-American plaque—for which he continually wants to thank the lineman of the then St. Mary’s Pirates for the “heavy lifting” that allowed this to happen.  Tim was more interested in basketball, however, but spent most of his time in that sport “riding the pine.”  He’s made up for that by playing pick-up basketball every chance he gets, and continuing with the game even as age and waning ability make his efforts problematic.

While working as a grocery bagger before he went off to college, Tim fell in love with Priscilla Gehrung, who is not only the love of his life but, he hopes, for endless lifetimes beyond that.  After two years at Creighton University in Omaha, he transferred back to Colorado College in his hometown, for both academic and romantic reasons.  He and Priscilla were married his junior year (marriage at such an early age being something he recommends only in cases of True Love).

He then earned his Masters in Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he and Priscilla (already a superb teacher) got teaching jobs at an American school in Stavanger, Norway, and, following that, in London.  Their son Seth was born at Hammersmith Hospital (where Twiggy also had her baby—which, though perhaps biologically surprising, is irrelevant here).  Three weeks later they returned to the States.  Their son Nick was born two years after.  At this point Tim began storytelling to his sons and the neighborhood kids; he now tells professionally and whenever it might get him out of trouble.  The family then moved to Tokyo, where Tim and Priscilla both taught for three years at the American School in Japan.

Tim continued to teach when they moved to Austin, Texas, while Priscilla earned her Ph.D. (“Pretty Hard Degree”) in education.  Cassie was born in ’91, Priscilla soon took a professorship in Bakersfield, California, and for the second time Tim found himself a stay-at-home dad.  He’s still quite proud of being the only male adult member of the Bakersfield’s Moms and Munchkins.  The family then lived for seven years in Plattsburgh, New York, a small, beautiful city just north of the Adirondacks and an hour south of Montreal, where Priscilla and Tim taught at the SUNY campus.

All along Tim was writing.  He has 14 children's books out and one on the way; The Thunder Egg just came out from Wisdom Tales.  September '07 saw If You Give a T-Rex a Bone (Dawn Publications—nominated as a "BookSense Bestseller"; 5000 recently sold to Australia's libraries) and The Out-Foxed Fox from Cavendish.  The Furry-Legged Teapot (Cavendish) got an excellent review from SLJDark-Sparkle Tea (Wordsong) earned excellent reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, SLJ, and others.  Good Babies (Candlewick ‘05) got excellent reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, childrenslit.com and others.  Basho and the River Stones (Cavendish ‘04), one of three finalists for a 2007 California Young Readers medal, is now offered by Scholastic Book Clubs, was a Junior Library Guild selection and an NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and got excellent reviews from The New York Times, Kirkus, Booklist, and a starred review in SLJTanuki’s Gift (Cavendish ‘03) got an excellent boxed review with art in the New York Times, won an Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award, and was a Nick Jr. Magazine “Best Book of the Year” and a Bank Street Honor Book, among other honors.  Basho and the Fox (Cavendish ‘00) was read aloud on NPR by Daniel Pinkwater, made the New York Times bestseller list for children’s books, and was chosen as a Smithsonian Notable Children’s Book, a CBC “Not Just for Children Anymore” selection, and a Bank Street Honor Book, among other honors.  And Let’s Call Him Humuhumu…(Bess Press, ’93) recently came out in a new edition with accompanying CD.  Tim's placed 18 pieces with the Carus Group, which includes the Cricket and Cobblestone magazines (one of his pieces was nominated for a Paul Wittey Short Story Award) and others in Storyworks, Appleseed, Highlights, and Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul. His short story “Brother Jubal in the Womb of Silence” won a prize in the 2001 Writers of the Future Contest for speculative fiction, which earned him a week-long writing workshop attended by Tim Powers, Frederick Pohl, Hal Clement, and others.  He’s published over 130 poems, won a first place in a national poetry contest judged by John Updike, and has two adult poetry books out (Dear Beast Loveliness:  Poems of the Body, BlazeVox Press; That Mass at Which the Tongue Is Celebrant, Pecan Grove Press).  He's been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes.  His Glad to Be Dad:  A Call to Fatherhood reached #5 on Amazon's "Hot New Releases in Fatherhood" and won the inaugural Ben Franklin Digital Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association.  He served as a SCBWI Golden Kite picture-book judge for 2002, and he won SCBWI’s 2012 Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.  He's also placed much other fiction and non-fiction for adults and children.  And his song "When Lady Smiled at Me" won the Dan Howell Song of the Year for the Saratoga chapter of the West Coast Songwriters, sending him to the Grand Finals at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley.

Tim and Priscilla now live in Santa Clara, California, where they both teach at Santa Clara University and where Cassie is a writer and works at Hicklebee's children's book store.  Nick is currently a PhD candidate at Cornell in Montana.  Seth has just taken a job as a professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  

And Tim keeps writing, sometimes wondering if his lifetime will be enough to finish all the projects he has in his head.

It’s worth mentioning that he can whistle and hum at the same time, and does one of the world’s greatest “can-opener” splash-dives.

Tim J. Myers:

Longer bio

Fruitful Tension


All text and images copyright Tim Myers 2008