Keith Crook grew up on Long Island in the 1960s. His father was Newsday’s Pulitzer-nominated political cartoonist, and his mother was a local painter and sculptor.
Following his genetic mandate, Mr. Crook attended Pratt Institute upon completing high school. However, he dropped out of art school in the early 1980s to pursue his life’s dream of waiting tables and tending bar.
Finding the reality of the service industry nothing like its glamorous portrayal in movies like Mystic Pizza and Cocktail, Mr. Crook moved out to Los Angeles to pursue Plan B— screenwriting. Though he had some scripts optioned, he ended up paying the bills with Plan C—advertising.
He started working at Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles as a copywriter on the American Express, Paramount Home Video and Kraft Cereal accounts.
Sick of living in Los Angeles, Mr. Crook turned to Plan D—which was working as a writer at MTV in New York on their Rock n’ Jock, Rock the Vote, Movie Specials and Award shows.
As the 21st century dawned, Mr. Crook decided it was time for Plan E—to grow up and sell out! He took a job at American Express where he founded and ran an in-house advertising agency. The project was so successful, that after a few years Mr. Crook created his own interactive agency that serviced American Express exclusively.
After a decade of drinking the corporate Kool-Aid, Mr. Crook finally had the financial independence and patience required to go back to Plan A—college. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree from SUNY in record time—just under forty years.
Today he lives in Westport, Connecticut, where he writes Nightwasp adventure stories for boys and girls of all ages, and curses regularly at the television.