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My office, which bears a striking resemblence to the office of crime analyst Dexter Allen. 
A Short Bio . . .

I hate talking (or writing) about myself, so I'll keep this short and sweet.  I was born in Bellingham, Washington, attended school in the Meridian district and graduated Meridian High School in 1982.  Prior to graduation I joined the Navy under the delayed enlistment program and shipped off to bootcamp in San Diego in October 1982.  The next year and a half was spent at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California studing Russian, and in San Angelo, Texas, studying . . . well, other stuff.  I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you.

A two-year tour in Rota, Spain followed, and I traveled extensively to locations like Morocco, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, France, Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Bahrain, Pakistan, Oman, Jordan, England, Scotland, the Canary Islands, Gibraltar, and a few other places.  After that, it was off to Sinop, Turkey for a year.

I got out of the Navy in 1987, but soon found myself working as a civilian for the Office of Naval Intelligence where I was a project manager in the Foreign Materiél Exploitation Division.  I attended and graduated the Naval War College and did a lot of interesting things during those years, but eventually found my way back to Bellingham.  A couple years after returning, I joined the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office as their crime analyst . . . and the seeds for my future crime novels were planted.

Since Collecting the Dead was released, I get asked a lot if I'm going to quit the sheriff's office now that I'm a "successful author."  After explaining the realities of being a successful author as opposed to the illusions, I tell people that, even if I was so successful that I didn't need the job, I'd probably stick around.  After all, I get some of my best ideas and dialogue from the guys I work with.  Besides, there are a couple of cold cases I'm not ready to walk away from.

In the meantime, I do what writers do:  I write.



Shortly after starting work at the Office of Naval Intelligence, I met Lea, who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA).  We were married in 1989, and have three daughters, Mary, Katie, and Abby.    Wedding pic

Term Limits Like my main character, Magnus "Steps" Craig, I'm a collector of books, and most of those mentioned in my stories are either books I own, or they're on my acquisition list. I prefer debut novels and always try to acquire first printings, though some are out of reach.  For example, I own a third printing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, valued at less than $100, because a first printing is about $20,000.

At left is one of my prize possessions:  a signed first edition, first printing of Vince Flynn's debut, Term Limits.  Flynn self-published this book under his own imprint (Cloak & Dagger) before it was picked up by Pocket Books. Needless-to-say, there weren't many copies printed.