John R. Powers was born in 1945 on the South Side of Chicago. He earned a BA in sociology from Loyola University Chicago and an MA and a PhD in communications from Northwestern University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Studs Terkel, a Chicago radio personality and writer known for his oral histories (Hard Times, The Good War). Powers was a professor of speech and performing arts at Northeastern Illinois University for six years. He also created and hosted a number of specials for Chicago public television during this time. Powerss stories first appeared in the form of articles written for Chicago magazine. The novels followed in quick succession: The Last Catholic in America, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, and The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-Cream God. He has written one other novel, The Junk-Drawer Corner-Store Front-Porch Blues, as well as Odditude: Finding the Passion for Who You Are and What You Do. He and his wife, JaNelle, have two daughters, Jacey and Joy. He lives in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and is a motivational speaker.