Although my corn collection is my main interest, I have been keeping herps of one kind or another since the late 80's. I started with a wild-caught snapping turtle. I later got some small lizards (labeled as "jewel swifts") and then started in snakes with my first Ball Python in 1995. By 1998 I had two ball pythons, a california kingsnake, and three corn snakes.
I've had serpwidgets.com on the web serving up corn snake information since 2000. Articles there included an experiment with carotene supplements, a morph library, and a genetics tutorial.
I wrote and published the annual Cornsnake Morph Guide® from 2004 to 2011, and also wrote/published the book Genetics For Herpers so that reptile and snake breeders could have a genetics book that applied to any species. In 2012 I took the year off from writing to spend more time with my two sons Thomas and Tyler. (There is no 2012 Edition but there may be new ones in 2013 and beyond.)
In 2005 Connie Hurley and I started the American Cornsnake Registry, which we still run today. I also opened the ATB registry which has taken off well, and several other registries for herps. Our other site is cccorns.com, which contains our personal corn-related website as well as the forum "The Source."
Connie and I have also participated in several cooperative/community efforts to work out various morphs and the genes behind them, including ultra, dream, masque, and strawberry.
Although we haven't been very active online recently, Connie and I plan on breeding our corns again in 2013. We will likely be a lot more active on the web, especially when the snakes come out of brumation in January or February, and you will be able to find us over at The Source.
Cornsnake Morph Guide
The Cornsnake Morph Guide started in 2004 as "The Buyer's Gude to Cornsnake Morphs" and was renamed with the release of the 2005 Edition. When I was a kid I collected stamps and there were stamp catalogues that came out every year. They covered every US Stamp ever printed and showed how much they were selling for, which depended not only on the stamp but on the condition. It showed how to grade a stamp and also how to tell the difference between some stamps that looked similar, or minor variations in different print runs of the "same" stamp. It was a great resource for any stamp collector and I spent hours and hours looking through all the pictures. I wanted a book that fulfilled the same role for people who were collecting and breeding cornsnakes, so I started with information about how to identify cornsnake morphs, and the typical price range.
The biggest difference between a stamp buyer's guide and a snake buyer's guide is that you don't get new stamps by breeding the ones you have. A cornsnake book needs to answer questions like "what color is my cornsnake?" But it also needs to answer questions like "what type of cornsnake should I breed to get new morphs?" And it needs to teach genetics so that readers can figure out on their own how to proceed with making the best and latest combinations, and how to tell if the cornsnake they bought for its odd color or pattern is carrying a new mutant gene that they can utilize in future breedings. Since many hobbyists on the internet were starting to cooperate in trying to work out the ultramel and lava morphs, the book was also a great way to list other projects that people could try themselves and contribute to the effort.
The Cornsnake Morph Guide was started from that base and has developed ever since. In 2004 the list of known morph genes was a lot smaller than today. From 2004-2011 our hobby added ultra, piedsided, cinder, dilute, masque, kastanie, terrazzo, tessera, strawberry, buf, java, and christmas corns to the list. The list is still growing. The CMG also introduced the quad-morph rollover method, hypermacro identification, and several other fun extras. The latest development is the conversion to a digital format so that readers can dive right in and read in their favorite web browser, and look through parts of the book before buying, instead of having to wait for their copy to be mailed to them.