It's very good to hear from you. And it certainly would be a pleasure to try to answer your questions. Moreover, you have my permission to publish my answers at your website.
What made me want to write books?
Writing books is an extension, for me, of just loving to write. I love to write because I love words. Words, I believe, have immense power: the power to make you think, the power to make you cry, the power to make you laugh, the power to make you angry. I learned about all this as a child in a household that was filled with words, that cared about words.
Who was the first person to encourage me to write?
Definitely it was my mom. Both my parents have always encouraged me in all my endeavors, but my mom was the only one to whom I showed my first writing. And when she saw my early writing she praised it, critiqued it and encouraged me to continue my efforts.
Do I keep a regular work schedule?
NO. I know there are many writers who discipline themselves to a regular schedule. I definitely am not one of them. When I'm hot on a project, I'll work on it from dawn to late at night, and even dream about it. When the project is done, I sink into a kind of laziness in which I think about what my next project will be. Perhaps my writing rhythm is somewhat like the feeding rhythm of a snake: big bite, take it easy.
Do I have a special place I do my writing:
No. Not at all. I just need a place that's quiet, no distraction. Probably I could write best in a closet. It's particularly vital that there be no music playing. The meters of the music would throw off the meters of my verse.
Besides myself, who is my favorite writer:
Oh, there are many writers whose writing I like far more than mine. Within the world of children's writing, I idolize Carl Sandburg (his Rootabaga Stories) and Rudyard Kipling (his Just So Stories). Within the world of "adult" writing, I particularly adore and idolize the writings of Patrick O'Brian who writes historical novels of the 1800's. I consider him a genius.
Besides writing, what do I like to do?
I love being a dad to my son Sam who is ten years old and the apple of his father's eye. I love reading. I love swimming. I love boogie boarding. And my favorite hobby of all is cooking. If writing weren't my profession, quite possibly I could see myself as a chef, maybe a television chef, perhaps a cookbook author.
I hope all goes well with your project. It sure sounds interesting to me. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.