Though the town elders have yet to acknowledge it with so much as a single commemorative plaque, Steve Hockensmith was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 17, 1968. The first two decades of his life passed uneventfully, the only notable highlight being a short stint as an intern at People magazine, an experience that allowed Hockensmith to realize his lifelong dream: crank calling Crispin Glover.
Despite (or perhaps because of) such lapses in his professionalism, Hockensmith became an entertainment journalist, writing about pop culture and the film industry for The Hollywood Reporter, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday and lots of magazines and newspapers you’ve never heard of. Sensing that print journalism was going the way of Raphus cucullatus, however, Hockensmith switched to an industry that he knew would offer dependable stability for decades to come: publishing.
Hockensmith is not known for his business acumen.
Nevertheless, his first novel, the Sherlockian mystery/Western Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for Edgar, Anthony, Shamus and Dilys Awards in 2007. A slew of sequels followed.
In 2010, Hockensmith tried his hand at romzomcoms (romantic comedies with zombies) with Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Though a prequel to the hit “mash-up” Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Hockensmith’s novel was 100% original. Well, 100% new, anyway. Most of the characters and settings came courtesy of Jane Austen, who’s been a real doll about the whole thing and hasn’t complained yet. Hockensmith later completed the PPZ trilogy (three books makes it a trilogy, right?) with the novel Dreadfully Ever After.
Hockensmith went on to launch three other series with the help of collaborators. The White Magic Five & Dime books are mysteries with an occult twist provided by tarot reader supreme Lisa Falco. The Nick and Tesla middle-grade mysteries taught kids about DIY science thanks to the help of gadget-building maestro “Science Bob” Pflugfelder. (The third book in the series, Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove, was a finalist for the Edgar Award in the Best Juvenile category. For those of you keeping score, that was Steve’s second Edgar nomination. Yippee!) And the Secret Smithsonian graphic novels (created with co-writer Chris Kientz and illustrator Lee Nielsen) followed the adventures of time-traveling middle schoolers who learn about history even as they protect it from meddling villains.
Though he considers himself a Midwesterner at heart, Hockensmith spent the last two decades in the San Francisco Bay Area and figures he may as well give in and call himself a Californian now. He says he’s adjusted to life on the West Coast, but confesses that he still misses thunderstorms, snow and Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppes. He shares his home with a wonderful wife, two wonderful sons and two dogs who manage to be wonderful despite their habit of eating garbage (or worse) and barfing it up in the most inconvenient places possible.