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For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading fantasy stories and history—a dichotomist mix, I admit. This led to a keen interest in fantasy role-playing games, wargames in general, and tiny lead miniatures. These interests are a constant source of amusement to my wife and children.

I grew up reading Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Stephen R. Donaldson, Paul Carell, and Shelby Foote. When not reading in my free time, I was playing Dungeons & Dragons or any of the staggering array of miniature and chit wargames my friends and I had collected. To this day, my closet still contains thousands of carefully painted miniatures, ready at any moment to represent adventurers on a dungeon crawl, The Battle of Five Armies, Agincourt, Gettysburg, or Stalingrad.

Twenty years in the Army and a couple of combat tours changed my perspective somewhat on warfare and history, but did not diminish my love of fantasy stories. Tolkien audiobooks gave my mind a break from the combat environment.

During my last deployment, I began writing the story that became my first novel, Out of Their Depth.  Encouraged by lifelong friends, supported by my wife and children, and with the help of an excellent editor, I am now writing stories I like. I sincerely hope you will too.

M.R. Cook

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