Michael Anthony Steele was a former writer in the Barney franchise from 2002 until 2009.
The Early Years
Throughout my life I’ve held a wide variety of jobs: grocery sacker, your basic burger-flipper, limo driver, tele-researcher (if I disturbed your dinner during the month of August, 1990, I deeply apologize), photographer, and writer. Happily, I’ve managed to make a career out of the last one.
However, before writing professionally (I’ve written most of my life just no one thought to pay me for it), I joined the entertainment industry by becoming a special effects assistant working on commercials, movies, and television shows. My friend and roommate at the time, Bob Trevino,was just beginning his career in special effects and often brought me along when they needed an extra pair of hands. Well, making fire, rain, and generally blowing stuff up turned out to be quite a fun job, if you can imagine. It didn’t hurt that people in the film community are some of the best people with which to work. Later he was given the opportunity to work in the prop department on a new PBS show called Wishbone. While working the first season, he wrote a couple of spec scripts for the show and when the second season rolled around, I was asked to co-write an episode. He later became a staff writer and even co-wrote Showtime’s feature-length presentation, Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West (Here I am playing a small role in the Wishbone episode I co-wrote: War of the Noses–photo by Carol Kaelson).
Near the end of the series, I met the editor of the Wishbone books, Kevin Ryan. A talented writer himself, Kevin gave me the opportunity to write four Wishbone novels and taught me many things about writing books for young readers. It’s not always easy to keep things straight when the main character in your book is a dog who imagines himself to be heroes from classic literature. In fact, if you’re a fan of the show, he recommend picking up any of the books in the series (not just mine). Kevin did a great job editing and pulling together a host of talented authors to tackle the job.
Lyrick, HIT, and Barney
Michael Anthony Steele later joined the corporate side of the entertainment industry for a couple of years by becoming the Creative Development Director for Lyrick Studios (now Hit Entertainment) where I helped create new brands, television series, and book series. He consulted on the company’s existing brands and many of their individual marketing strategies, giving me valuable experience of how major brands are created, marketed, and maintained.
The corporate life wasn’t for me and I went back to freelance writing and the short commute of simply walking upstairs to my study. I’ve been at it now for the past seventeen years where I continue to write for advertising, publishing, series television, and video.
Michael has written twenty-five episodes for the PBS series, Barney & Friends, as well as written on nine of Barney’s home videos. I’ve also written five home videos for the preschool property, BOZ, the Green Bear Next Door. I continue to write for kids of all ages by authoring more than ninety books to date. They vary from junior novelizations and chapter books to early readers and preschool books.
On a MORE personal note, he goes by Anthony or Ant (short for Anthony and not because he can lift twenty times my own weight). He enjoys photography, hiking, kayaking, camping, scuba diving, and writing music. He live in Texas with my researcher/editor/wife/best friend, Becky along with our four cats and four dogs.
- Play for Exercise!
- Numbers! Numbers!
- This Way In! This Way Out!
- My Family and Me
- Sharing Is Caring!
- It's Hot! It's Cold!
- Day and Night
- A Picture of Friendship
- Let's Go for a Ride!
- Let's Make Music!
- Movin' Along
- A Wonderful World of Colors and Shapes
- Ducks and Fish
- The Wind and the Sun
- The Nature of Things
- For the Fun of It
- The Princess and the Frog
- Way to Go!: A Travel Adventure
- ¡Ahora Mismo!: Spain