PERSONAL: Married Sally Duston; children: Ross. Education: Graduated from college. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, reading, theater (watching and doing), movies, contra dancing, hiking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, Celtic music, and working on his house.
ADDRESSES: Home—VT. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Clarion Books, 215 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10003.
CAREER: Writer. Worked various jobs, including as a marketer, teacher, documentary filmmaker, and a graphic artist.
Sky Carver (young adult novel), Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Dean Whitlock traveled extensively while growing up. His father was in the Air Force and the family moved frequently—Whitlock lived in ten different states and three foreign countries by the time he was on his own—in addition to visiting many more places. He credits his peripatetic youth for his love of travel and appreciation for diverse cultures and beliefs. The traveling also made him an enthusiastic reader, with books often filling the time on long journeys by car or by plane. He became a fan of science fiction and fantasy in particular, books that echoed the diversity of his own existence. As an adult, Whitlock has spent more than three decades in the same town in Vermont. He has tried his hand at numerous jobs, including marketing, documentary filmmaking, graphic artistry, and teaching. He enjoys spending time on the water or working on his house, but much of his free time is devoted to writing. Sky Carver, Whitlock's first novel, written for young adults, tells the story of a man named Thomas Painter, who lives in a world where a person's name designates their career. Thomas, however, believes that he has been born with the wrong name and is determined not to paint, but instead to indulge his talent for wood carving. The discovery of a magic wand sets Thomas on a journey, during which he searches for his missing parents and discovers his brother, a magician. Carolyn Phelan, writing for Booklist, commented that "the story is richly inventive, if not always convincing." Beth L. Meister, in a review for School Library Journal, remarked that the book's "world combines magic and familiar inventions like bicycles and engines in believable ways."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of Sky Carver, p. 1471.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005, review of Sky Carver, p. 360.
School Library Journal, May, 2005, Beth L. Meister, review of Sky Carver, p. 141.