(In the stilted third person as is the convention)
Simmons was born on Chicago's north side, but grew up and lives in the eastern Missouri Ozarks. He attended a one-room school
through the eighth grade, and walked a mile to get there. His family worked a subsistence farm on Ozark land cleared from
the native forest by his grandfather.
He was a carpenter's helper and factory worker until he entered the US Army at nineteen. A tour of duty took him to
the Far East where he saw a world far different from his own. His military experience acquainted him with his country. The
racial, ethnic, and cultural makeup of his squad changed forever his concept of "American."
The GI Bill financed his entire college career. After declaring
and rejecting majors in Business (lacked interest) and Art (fairly talented, but color blind), he settled on History, in
which he obtained BA and MA degrees. Passing up a doctoral program (he was 27, married, and had no job), he took a public
school teaching position "until something better came along." He discovered, to his amazement, that the calling
He began writing shortly after he started teaching (supplemental essays on the history of technology
and on foreign policy). His fiction career began with sci-fi short stories. Now he writes exclusively in the mystery/suspense
genre. In 2003, he began serializing novels on-line.
Today, he and his wife (life partner, collaborator, illustrator,
and muse) still live on the farm his grandfather settled. His roots (four generations deep) are in the Ozarks where the
Richard Carter series is set. Using the culture, language, and mores of this "Bible Belt" region, he writes culturally
immersive stories of obsession set amidst the small-town and rural life that he knows.
Some favorite authors:
Solomon, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Mark Twain, Francis Parkman, Joseph Conrad, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert,
Dashiell Hammett, James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman, Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman, Isabel Allende, and Herman Wouk.
Favorite story: "Youth" by Joseph Conrad. Favorite poem: Kipling's "If." Favorite movie: O Brother
Where Art Thou. Favorite literary characters: Huck Finn, Antigone, and Don Quixote.
Once a hobbyist programmer,
he now is an addicted tweeter and an inconsistent webmaster. He loves chess (favors the French Defense), golf (once a scratch
player), reading, writing, and imagining. Other passions include rescue dogs (Shady and Cookie), baseball (Cardinals), ethnic
cuisine (Hispanic, Italian, Szechuan, and fusion), local history and geography, and stories about real people doing heroic
things (rather than super heroic people doing unreal things.)