Richard Hurley was born in Upstate New York and lived there until he was 9. His family moved to Europe, where he attended Italian schools and a British school in Switzerland. After high school in California, he went to Harvard, where he fell under the dark influence of the Harvard Lampoon. He has written professionally for magazines, newspapers, and consulting clients.
After college, he worked for three years as History Preparator for the Oakland Museum of California, restoring artifacts and designing exhibits. He returned to school for an M.Arch degree from UC Berkeley, then fled the Bay Area for the Sierra Foothills and a career in computer-based multimedia. He has produced corporate training, educational, and promotional CDs and DVDs, as well as 3D animations.
He has been an avid history buff ever since the age of ten, when he descended into a newly-opened Etruscan tomb structure. He is also interested in languages and served as Winlandes Scirgerefa (“Sheriff of Vinland”) for Đa Engliscan Gesiđas, an Old English study group. During a recent radio interview, he fulfilled a long-cherished ambition when he was called upon to recite "Cædmon's Hymn", the oldest surviving poem in English (or Early West Saxon, actually).
Favorite historical fiction authors: Robert Graves (I, Claudius) and Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey/Maturin series). He is currently enjoying Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom series.
TJ Meekins grew up roaming the back roads and ghost towns of the Northern Mines, panning for gold and digging up bottles from Gold Rush dumps. She learned California history from petroglyphs, tumbledown cabins, and rusty Pelton wheels, and grew up on stories of the Donner Party, Joaquin Murrieta, and Lola Montez.
She studied at UC Berkeley, then returned home to Nevada City to work for the Tahoe National Forest. She wrote, produced, and hosted two long-running shows on KVMR, exploring the roots of American Folk and Country music.
TJ and her sisters performed as The Pointless Sisters – a rock-and-roll vocal quartet – singing Oldies, R&B, and dance music at nightclubs and private events.
TJ learned Mountain Maidu from one of its last native speakers. She co-writes skits in Maidu that have been performed (with running English translation) at the Indigenous Peoples Day and Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California.
Favorite themes in fiction: TJ's parents' lifetime devotion to all things Gold Rush and cowboy meant she was “dunked like a donut” in the lore of the American West. She loves first-hand narratives, songs and legends, old maps and illustrations. She is also a fan of short stories, especially Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries. She is also a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels.
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