P. W. (Paul William) Catanese was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and three children. When he's not writing books, he draws cartoons and works for an advertising agency.
Interestingly, the letters in "P. W. Catanese" can be rearranged to spell "want escape?" Paul figures that's why people read books like his.
A. Sometimes ideas come from other ideas. When I was writing my second fantasy-adventure novel, The Brave Apprentice, I dropped a name into one scene for a character you never met: A fellow named Umber who kept histories of monstrous creatures. That planted the seed for the book I would start years later, about an exuberant explorer and inventor named Umber who is one of the two heroes of the new "Books of Umber: Happenstance Found."