Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s.  Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course).  After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making.

In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security.  He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel.

During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites.

Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008.  His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print.  His third novel, “Twisted Key” is currently available in Kindle format and will be available in paperback in July or August of this year.

Mr. Showalter currently resides in Orange Park, Florida, where he is working on his fourth novel, “Lonesome Cove”.

On a less formal note:

I’m a writer, for better or worse. I’m not passionate about it, as some authors like to claim. Passion is great when it brings two people together or when you start a new project, but it’s nothing to be going on with when life turns into a long, slow slog down a muddy road. I’m a writer because it’s the only way I know to make a living any more.

And according to my readers, I’m pretty good at it. Lucky me, huh?

But I don’t claim to write my novels by myself. I have a good-sized cast of characters – Terry Rankin and Cathy Diamond, Cathy’s dad Matt, Terry’s office manager Cecelia and his operations manager Tommy and a few others. I can’t not mention Spike, a six-toed Hemmingway cat from Key West who’s taken up residence on Terry’s trawler Nina R. And they all argue with me, constantly.

Sometimes it gets very noisy in here.

Life is filled with confusion and lots and lots of good, bad and indifferent people. It’s chaos, actually, and our job is to make some sense and order out of it for ourselves and the people we care about. So that’s what I write about. Mystery, murder, greed, incompetence, corruption, romance, hope and optimism, reward and punishment and just enough light-hearted humor to keep us sane.

I’ve never had what anyone would call a stable life, so maybe my point of view is somewhat skewed. But you have to write about what you know, so that’s what I do.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But it is a bit behind the times,  and I would like to bring you up to date on my most recent several years.

In 2012 I moved from Silver Springs near Ocala to Dunnellon, Florida. That’s about thirty miles west of Ocala, for those of you who really care about such things. It is downright agricultural here, with horses (lots and lots of horses) and cattle, some goats and other four-legged critters and farmers growing hay, feed stores and other agricultural goings-on.

I love it. I origionally moved out here to write my fifth novel. Unfortunately, that never happened. Instead, I got busy working on the horse ranch where I am living, bought a horse and saddle and got back to riding trails and mowing, bush hogging, fixing fences and trimming trees. Farm stuff. Real stuff. I got back to sweating, losing weight, eating better and generally feeling pretty good about things.

Diabetes Type II disappeared after about three years of actually doing stuff, and I lost over seventy pounds. Now my weight is the same as it was when I first joind the US Army at 18.

The work here does not pay much, so I asked the owner if I could build a small workshop, buy some floor machinery and get back to building furniture. She said yes.

So, this blog is going to reflect the next several years of my life as I get that shop together, buy the equipment and find myself some customers. It should be interesting.

Life, in case you were not aware, is supposed to be interesting. We can only learn stuff by doing stuff, occasionally failing but never, ever, quitting.

So, that’s what I am going to do.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


13 Responses to About

  1. lottieeaton says:

    Hey, I nominated you for an award! It can be found here: http://lottieeaton.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/the-liebster-award-2/

    Well done!

  2. Cindy says:

    I just finished reading “Big Bend” and now I am hooked on the Terry Rankin books! I am currently reading “Hog Valley”, and as a Florida native, find it almost comforting to read stories that take place in Central Florida, where I grew up. I spent my childhood in Tampa, went to college in Orlando, and my parents have retired to Dunnellon, so it’s fun to read about all of those areas in your books.

    Thank you so much for writing them, and for making them available on Kindle so inexpensively! In fact, the reason I tried “Big Bend” was because it was free on Kindle one day! I liked it so much that I just paid the $3 for “Hog Valley” because I was ready to read the next book in the series, and I no longer cared about whether it was on special that day! 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you, Cindy! Please accept my very best wishes for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

    • I have come to love the area of Dunnellon very much. Great place to live; quiet, and lots of friendly neighbors. There are also a lot of trails for the horses (although we don’t get to ride as often as I’d like). Thanks for the great compliments, Cindy!

      • Cindy says:

        Living in Northern Nevada, it’s a nice change to come visit my parents in Dunnellon every year. We enjoy kayaking the Rainbow/Withlacoochee Rivers and hiking the many trails in the many parks around there. Of course, it’s usually summer when we come, so it’s quite hot and humid, but we still enjoy getting out and seeing the area.

      • Many years ago I had a job building cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada, to hold a herd that was on its way down from the mountains. Unfortunately for me, this job was in November, during one of the worst blizzards to hit the area in fifty years. The job lasted a week of twelve hour days, with most of that time spent working outside, in the blizzard. The boss fed us well, covered our board in a local motel and gave us the use of one of his ranch trucks. He was a good man in a tough spot, and I did all I could for him.

      • It’s nice and quiet, and my Arabian is happy here, too.

  3. Cindy says:

    I can’t imagine what it was like to work outside in a blizzard out in Fallon! One of the worst parts of the weather here is the wind – it’s so strong, and in the winter, cold!

    I’m glad you like Dunnellon so much, and that your Arabian is happy, too. Do you feel like you work harder now as a writer (including the research and the promotion/business work) than you did in your other careers?

    • In some ways I work harder, but writing beats the heck out of building furniture or welding tons of gold into necklaces. It sure beats digging ditches and picking cotton (I’ve done that, too. Once, and that was enough for me). I really enjoy the research and the interviews; that’s all open-ended and free-flowing, unlike the writing and editing and rewriting, which is pretty much drudge work. “Creative Writing” is such a misnomer, Cindy. The creative part takes place in your brain, and requires a total of about fifteen minutes of your time in course of putting out a complete novel. The rest is writing and rewriting.

  4. Cindy says:

    I think I’ll pass your last comments about “Creative Writing” on to my high school son who I am homeschooling and having him continue writing to prepare for college. Not truly Creative Writing, but the more drudgery writing and rewriting part still applies! 🙂

    • It absolutely does apply, Cindy. Good writing IS rewriting. You rewrite for clarity and smoothness of delivery. Tell your son I wish him all the very best in life. And be sure to explain to him that if he wants the very best in HIS life he will work hard to improve the lives of those around him.

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