Steven Riley has been writing and illustrating stories for as long as he can remember. His love for books was born in him many years ago as his Mom would read him stories before he went to bed each night. Among his favorites were Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess.
He loved writing and illustrating wild stories about space. In fact, his first book series entitled Adventures In Space was a series of four short stories about two space-traveling robots named Yars and Yak. He completed this monumental work before he was ten years old, but unfortunately through many years of moving the one and only copy was lost forever, and the awaiting world was left to mourn.
His love for art also blossomed at an early age while his parents would let him draw pictures to keep him quiet in church. Due to the frequency that his family attended church, Steve had plenty of time to practice!
As he got older, his best subjects in school were always creative writing and art. He went to Murray State University in Kentucky and graduated with a degree in art. Not really knowing what else to do at that point, he moved to Hollywood, California to try his hand at an acting career. His acting career never worked out, but his move to California proved to be a success, for it was in Hollywood that he met a beautiful young lady named Julie who would become his wife. It was also in California where he discovered Yosemite National Park, and he loved the place so much he moved there.
While living in Yosemite, there was a family of raccoons that lived under his porch. They would come out every evening. Steve often noticed a small one that had a cut in his left ear. The mark made it easy to tell this particular raccoon from the others, and this little raccoon became the inspiration for his first published book, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race.
The next book in the series, called Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, promises to be just as popular as Ty’s first adventure. In December of 2010, the third book, Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company, hit the stores. With some of the most dramatic scenes to date, this is a book you don’t want to miss. All of the books are geared toward children between the ages of four and eleven, and are intended to teach them about our wonderful National Parks. Throughout each story are illustrations of all the animals and places one can see as they visit the parks and each story is complete with a life lesson that can help kids build character qualities into their young lives. Also included are drawing lessons at the end of each book-a great bonus for all aspiring artists, young and old!
Where should Ty go next? He is an adventurous little raccoon. Let us know what you think-Ty would love to hear from you!