Allene Symons is a veteran journalist who holds a bachelor's in philosophy (with a journalism minor) from San Francisco State, and master's degrees in the fields of Communications (Journalism) and in History of Religions (Buddhism). She was a writer, book reviewer, and senior editor for Publishers Weekly in New York (1982-1988), and has written for other specialty magazines in the musical instrument and pharmacy fields.
She was born in Long Beach, California, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. Currently, she lives in Santa Ana. She retired in 2016 after a decade as an instructor in communications and media studies at Santa Ana College.
Freelance credits include articles in Details, Los Angeles Times (book reviews and travel), and the travel lit review column "Great Reads for the Restless" for msnbc.com (1999-2000). Her latest book is Aldous Huxley's Hands: His Quest for Perception and the Origin and Return of Psychedelic Science (Prometheus Books, distributed by Penguin Random House; release date December 8, 2015). She is also the author of Nostradamus, Vagabond Prophet: A Novel of His Life and Time (Forked Road Press, a 2011 revised edition of Vagabond Prophet, Avon Books, 1983). She is co-author with Jane Parker of Adventures Abroad: Exploring the Travel/Retirement Option (Gateway Books/Globe Pequot, 1991).