I started out as a physical anthropologist, boiling human bodies and identifying pathological bone in the Colorado State University Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology. Life as a starving graduate student changed when Western Wyoming College offered me a field archaeologist position. With my M.A. in hand and a BMW motorcycle as my only transportation, I tied on a tent, then my little Sheltie dog Ted hopped onto the tank, and we were off to Rock Springs, Wyoming. Neither Ted, nor I, ever looked back.
When winter interfered with "have trowel will travel" field work, I lived in the family cabin, built in 1859, high on Berthoud Pass in the Colorado Rockies. There, I read beside the wood stove, played stick with Ted, and enjoyed great classical music, up until the day I read a western novel that made me crazy. What set me off was the ending, where a herd of steers (neutered male cattle) were having spring calves. I threw the book across the room, vowing I could do better. I started my first book the next morning, and within two weeks had finished a 500 page Western novel. (Don't look so impressed, it was real crap.) But the bug had bitten. I LOVED writing.
A couple of years, and eight unsold novels, later, I met Kathleen O'Neal (now Kathleen O'Neal Gear) at an archaeological meeting in Laramie. She was working as the Wyoming State Historian at the time. She stepped on my hat. I was raised old-school where you didn't wear a hat in a restaurant, so I'd thrown it on the floor. A couple of weeks later, we discussed writing over our first date, discovering yet another shared dream.
Since then it's been one hell of a ride. I've published twelve novels under my own name in the fields of SF, Thriller, Historical, and Western, and another forty-some Prehistory, Techno-Thriller, Historical, YA, and religious novels co-authored with Kathleen. Together we have close to 17 million copies of our books in print and translated into 28 languages. We've seen our titles on the New York Times, the USA Today, Toronto Star, Het Parole, and host of other international bestseller lists around the world.
These days we spend our lives at #RedCanyonRanch--with our two beloved shetland sheep dogs--where we continue to write novels about North America's archaeological heritage, and raise some of the most beautiful buffalo in North America.