I am a retired public school teacher and a free-lance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region, with special emphasis on the Civil War and the Old West. My articles and stories have appeared in a variety of national and regional publications, ranging from Reader's Digest to the Ozarks Mountaineer. I've published three nonfiction books about the Civil War in Missouri: The Civil War on the Lower Kansas-Missouri Border, The Civil War Story of Bloody Bill Anderson, and Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri. My first novel, entitled Call Me Charlie: A Novel of a Quantrill Raider, was published by Goldminds Publishing in the fall of 2008. A new nonfiction book, Ozarks Gunfights and Other Notorious Incidents, is scheduled for release by Pelican Publishing in the summer of 2009, and Treble Heart Books will publish my second novel entitled Showdown at Baxter Springs, also in 2009.
I was an English major in college at Missouri State University in Springfield, and like many English majors, I dreamed of some day writing the next great American novel. Alas, I gradually learned that my strength lay, instead, in nonfiction. Over the years, I've come to realize that I'm pretty good at researching a historical event and arranging the details into a compelling story if the facts are already there but not so great at creating dramatic plots on my own. I still write fiction occasionally, but most of my writing nowadays is nonfiction, and even the fiction tends to be historically based.