Meet Stephen Lawhead

Stephen Lawhead is known as an accomplished fiction author who "blends Christianity, mysticism, adventure, and history seamlessly to create a wonderfully compelling story" (Barnes & Noble). But the journey to this point began in Kearney, Nebraska, where Lawhead was born (July 2, 1950) and eventually attended Kearney State College as a Fine Art major. He paid his way through school playing lead guitar in a popular local rock band called Mother Rush. While at Kearney State, he published poems in college anthologies and wrote a humor column for the college newspaper.

In 1972, he married Alice Slaikeu and moved to the Chicago area to attend seminary. As Stephen explains, "I studied toward (but did not receive) a masterís degree in theology for almost two years at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is hard to say exactly how that has influenced my writing, but I learned much about church history that has shown up in my books. I also obtained a long-term, big-picture overview of Christian thought and expression that has been useful both personally and professionally."

His seminary career was cut short when he was offered a staff position at Campus Life magazine, where he wrote a record review column. Stephen realized his love for music was still strong; he began managing the Christian rock group DeGarmo & Key and eventually left Campus Life to start his own record company. Ariel Records lasted only a year. It went out of business on a Friday afternoon, and the following Monday, Stephen began writing a novel: In the Hall of the Dragon King. The rest, as they say, is history.

In all, Stephen has written over 30 books. His fiction spans the centuries and delves into a variety of historical periods, and his fascination with mythology shines through in works like The Pendragon Cycle (a 5-book series that covers the reign of King Arthur). Other works include Byzantium (a stand-alone novel about a ninth-century Irish monk on an adventurous quest) and The Iron Lance (the first book in The Celtic Crusades series; it follows the journey of young Scottish warrior Murdo Ranulfson). And coming soon is Avalon, a novel in which King Arthur returns to modern-day Britain! (Avalon will not be part of The Pendragon Cycle, but will stand alone.) Lawhead teamed up with his son Ross to write Hero, a series of 4 comic books that will also be released in graphic novel format, and City of Dreams, the first novel in a new trilogy featuring Agent Alex Hunter. Patrick Son of Ireland a historical fiction novel about the legendary St. Patrick, is another new book by Lawhead.

Stephen and his wife, Alice, have two children, Ross and Drake, and live in Oxford, England.

Updated June 2003.

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