I am an author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Before turning to fiction, I was a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where I was also the Dean of the College of Media.
Book 3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published in June 2018. The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles is the second in the Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was released in June 2016. It has won multiple awards, including the 2017 KCT International Literary Award, the 2017 John E. Weaver Excellent Reads Award for Historical Fiction, the 2016 New Apple Literary Award in the Action/Adventure category and First Place in the 2016 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Literary Category. It was also a finalist for the United Kingdom’s Diamond Book Award.
The first book in the trilogy, Finding Billy Battles, was published in 2014 and was a Kansas Book Festival Selection and a finalist for a Chanticleer Laramie Award. I have been a presenting author at the Kansas Book Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among other venues. I am also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill.
Other books include Aboard the Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent's Journey through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist's Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a Global Economy.
Before leaving the world of professional journalism where I toiled 25 years, I lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where I covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.
My work as a war correspondent resulted in several awards, including the Inter-American Press Association's Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; three Edward Scott Beck Awards for International Reporting, and three Pulitzer nominations.
I served 3-1/2 years active duty with the U.S. Army Security Agency in Germany, where I worked in communication intelligence (SIGINT). I live in Murrieta, California and am a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.
The Lost Years of Billy Battles
Where in the world is Billy Battles?
As Book Three of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy begins we know where Billy is. He is in Chicago with his wife, the former Baroness Katharina von Schreiber living a sedate and comfortable life after years of adventure and tragedy. That changes with a single telephone call that yanks Billy and Katharina back into a life of turmoil and peril.
Persuaded by a powerful old friend to go undercover for the U.S. government the two find themselves in Mexico during the height of the violent 1910-1920 revolution. There they encounter assorted German spies, Mexican revolutionaries, devious political operatives, and other malefactors. Caught in the middle of the 1914 American invasion of Veracruz, they must find a way out while keeping their real identities secret.
After managing to extract themselves from danger, disaster strikes. It is a tragedy Billy is all too familiar with and one that will send him plummeting into a painful abyss of despair and agony. Consequently, Billy vanishes leaving family and friends to wonder what happened to him. Where is he? Is he dead or alive? What provoked his disappearance? In Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy, those questions are answered, and the mystery behind Billy’s disappearance is finally revealed.
The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles2016
Finding Billy Battles2014
Awards and Recognition
- 2017 KCT International Literary Award
- 2017 John E. Weaver Excellent Reads Award for Historical Fiction,
- 2016 New Apple Literary Award in the Action/Adventure category
- 2016 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Literary Category
- 2016 Finalist United Kingdom’s Diamond Book Award
- 2014 Finalist, Chanticleer Laramie Award