Baseball novelist John H. Ritter grew up playing "one-on-one" hardball with his brothers in the rural hills of eastern San Diego County along the Mexican border. During high school, John was inspired by Bob Dylan, the songwriter, and spent time memorizing The Bob Dylan Songbook, as well as writing his own songs. After high school, he attended the University of California at San Diego, where he played baseball and met his wife, Cheryl.
For the next 25 years, John became a custom painting contractor, but he always set time aside to write. Then in 1994, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators honored him with the Judy Blume Award and a cash grant. Three years later, he retired from painting, and in 1999 his first novel, Choosing Up Sides (Penguin Putnam), won the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. A full-time writer of Blackfoot Indian, German, and Irish descent, John and his wife now live on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.