About John

I’ve spent much of my life overseas, beginning in 1966 with two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal.  My time in the Himalayan kingdom immersed me in a culture of Hindu gods and Buddhist monks, gave me breathtaking opportunities to trek into the high mountains, reduced me to a scrawny 150 pounds, and ignited my passion for foreign lands.  On the last day of my service there, in a palace converted to a hotel, I married Dorothy Zeller, the lady who is still my wife.

After Nepal, Dorothy and I went to graduate school at UCLA, received PhDs in geology, and spent our next three years working in Australia.  We traveled extensively by Land Cruiser through the harsh beauty of the Outback and, on occasion, spent hours winching or digging our vehicles out of “sticky” situations.  Several Australian colleagues provided inspiration for characters in my books.

Upon returning to the United States, Dorothy and I went to work for a major oil company, first in research, then in international exploration.  The latter took me to about fifty countries and fueled my writing with quirky characters, exotic settings, and cultural contrasts.

While working in Egypt, I spotted a potential way to break into the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  The break-in is now portrayed in a chapter of Papyrus.  My experiences in the remote highlands of Venezuela led to Tepui.  While living in London, I became interested in the business and culture of perfumes, an interest I have been able to nourish by accompanying Dorothy (now a NASA scientist) on her annual working sojourns in Paris.  A result of this good fortune is Aphrodesia.

I have an abiding love of animals, strong interests in art, history, and science, and a thirst for challenging experiences.  Writing gives me a chance to combine all of these into page-turners that, I hope, keep readers thinking long after they finish the final chapter.