I met author and radio talk show host Dr. James Dobson at the ski resort of Mammoth Lakes, California, where I was living after getting married. Our relationship led to me eventually getting hired as the editor of Focus on the Family magazine, which is why I'll always be grateful for what he did for me.
We love the Swiss Alps . . . here I am with my wife, Nicole, who is a Swiss native, and our children, Andrea and Patrick.
I thought I was going to be a sportswriter growing up in La Jolla, California.
I started writing for publication during my junior year at La Jolla High School for the hometown newspaper, the La Jolla Light, covering the exploits of the high school football and basketball teams. I thought a fun way to go through life would be sitting in the press box at San Diego Chargers and Padres games, eating a free hot dog and taking notes about what happened on the field.
I decided to attend the University of Oregon because of its top-notch journalism school. After graduating, however, I couldn't find a reporting job so I gravitated to Mammoth Lakes, California, home of Mammoth Mountain, a ski resort in the Eastern Sierra. While in Mammoth, I met my future wife, Nicole, who was a ski instructor from Switzerland. We fell in love, got married, and moved to Switzerland, where we lived in Geneva for one year and Zurich for six months. That was a fabulous broadening experience for me, seeing that part of the world and trying to learn French and Swiss-German.
Feeling like I needed to start my journalism career, we returned to Mammoth Lakes, where I got my start at a small weekly resort newspaper. Children arrived: Andrea, followed by Patrick. Then in 1986, I received a huge break: I was hired by Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry founded by Dr. James Dobson, to be the editor of Focus on the Family magazine. I enjoyed eleven fantastic and satisfying years at Focus on the Family, living in the Los Angeles area as well as Colorado Springs, Colorado, before moving back to San Diego to start a freelance career as an author and editor.
Throughout the years, I’ve written more than two dozen books under my own name and collaborated with some amazing people:
• Jordan Rubin of The Maker’s Diet fame
• Dr. Nick Yphantides, a San Diego physician who lost 267 pounds
• NFL football stars Colt McCoy and Rolf Benirschke and NFL wife Cyndy Feasel
• tennis stars Michael Chang, Roscoe Tanner, and Betsy McCormack
• Chicago Cubs ballplayer Ben Zobrist and baseball pitcher and cancer victim Dave Dravecky
• Joe Sweeney, a networking guru from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
• evangelist Luis Palau
• pop singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. of the Fifth Dimension
• Tim LaHaye, co-author of the Left Behind series
But the professional and personal highlight has been coming alongside Fred Stoeker ever since Every Man’s Battle was released in 2000. The Every Man’s series—nearly a dozen books in all—has more than 2 million copies in print, but more importantly, the impact in men’s lives has been mind-boggling and humbling at the same time.
I'm a blessed man, indeed.
I loved writing Dr. NIck Yphantides' book, My Big Fat Greek Diet, as well as caddying for Michael Chang in a celebrity tournament with Ivan Lendl.
I had an early introduction to tennis, and the game opened a lot of doors for me over the years. I played at the University of Oregon with long hair and mutton chop sideburns.
I always say that I had the best childhood ever growing up in La Jolla, California, a seaside beach community just north of San Diego. When I wasn't swimming at the La Valencia pool with my mother and my brother, Pry, I was at the Children's Pool (below) .