Profile

Ron Voller is the author of The Muleskinner and the Stars (Springer 2015), and Hubble, Humason and the Big Bang (Springer Praxis 2021).

 

He has contributed articles to Astronomy Magazine, chronicling the extraordinary life of the astronomer Milton Humason, a tribute to the 100-inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson  - the telescope that led us beyond the depths of our home galaxy - in its centennial year, and the history of the development of the Ritchey-Chrétien telescope design - that has helped lead us into the farthest depths of space. 

A native of Chicago, Mr. Voller earned undergraduate degrees in music and literature from the University of Denver before moving to New York City in 1999. He is currently seeking a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

 

In addition to these activities, Mr. Voller has enjoyed speaking with astronomy groups, mentoring young people in developing their outlooks on life and creative pursuits, and consulting with other writers on the subject of story: structure and strategy. He is also currently working as a producer on the development of several documentary projects. He is an advocate for equality and human rights, and works in this capacity as an advisor to the board of a public charity working to empower young women and men in East Africa.

Me

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I've been writing in one form or another my entire adult life. After graduation from college, I spent a decade as a musician in a popular Denver-area band before moving to New York and beginning the pursuit of a career in writing. It was fascinating to pull apart the various facets of different genres and I had no qualms about trying my hand at many of them despite having many failures. 

It wasn't long before I landed on children's fiction, a world that I found suited my interest in helping to entertain and inspire young minds. My first publication was in children's fiction fantasy that I wrote and illustrated in 2006. 

It was on a writing retreat for my second work for children in 2005 that I discovered Milt Humason while reading a book on the Big Bang - a favorite subject of mine - and from there I just couldn't let his story rest.

I wore out the carpet in a dozen local and university libraries around the U.S. and several observatories digging up the details of Humason's story. Along the way, I learned quite a lot of the history, structure and science of celestial mechanics; a position somewhat akin to the likes of Humason, whose janitor-to-jupiter story is one for the ages. 

 

This twenty-year journey has taught me much about the industry and the craft, as well as the people who work in and around the world of science, research and literature. I think I have come to enjoy writing even more than I do reading. I guess I'm a little better suited to active rather than passive activities; although, I must say I am also plenty well suited to a comfy couch on a Sunday afternoon.

I was born April 2nd, 1966, in Northbrook, Illinois, a Northwest suburb of Chicago, to a couple of high school sweethearts whose marriage eventually took on the look, feel and mephitic air of one of my older brother's more explosive basement-chemistry experiments. If I could be accused of being tempted by too great a number of pursuits and/or interests, I come by it honestly. Growing up the son of an electrical and mechanical engineer father and a history, science and space loving mother, both of whom were endlessly curious and talented musically as well, I was treated to a childhood immersed in art, music, literature, science, architecture, frequent trips to museums, musicals, the Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoo's, ballgames and more. 

Despite this seemingly auspicious background, I am somewhat surprised to find myself here on the literary stage (I'm actually upstage left in the back behind the really tall guy wearing the cowboy hat). I have no idea what the future portends, but I am thrilled by the experience so far, and gratified to hear that the stories I have brought into the world thus far have touched my readers. I look forward to the stories that lie in wait for me to discover and I hope the world's I am compelled to introduce in the future, whether shaped of my imagination or by history, will continue to entertain and inform you.