Portraits from Our Past:
Southwest Virginia Authors
John Maddox Roberts

John Maddox Roberts is the author of over 45 books of science fiction and fantasy as well as, a contemporary detective novel series. He was born in the forties in Ohio and has lived in many places such as Texas, California, New Mexico, Scotland, Mexico and the Southwest Virginia coal-mining community of Pound.

Roberts left college and joined the army in 1967 becoming a Green Beret and doing a tour of duty in Vietnam. After leaving the military, Roberts decided to become a writer because "it looked easy and it was something I could do indoors". Roberts first novel The Strayed Sheep of Charum was published in 1977 followed by King of The Wood in 1983. Both novels were published by Double Day Science Fiction. In 1989, Roberts published his first mystery SPQR which was set in ancient Rome. The book was nominated for the Edgar Award as best mystery of year. This mystery became a series with ten volumes to date. Roberts has also written a series of contemporary detective novels about a private eye, Gabe Trelor. The first book in the series was Typical American Town which was set in a fictionalized version of Robert's Ohio hometown. The book was described by the Sunday Oregonian: "Roberts weaves together elements of steamy noir melodrama, psychological thriller, and genre whodunit to create a tense, contemporary mystery with a memorably offbeat mood…..".

Roberts may be best known for his contributions to the Adventures of Conan series. A few of his Conan books include: Conan the Valorous (1985), Conan the Bold (1989), Conan and the Amazon (1995), and Conan the Rogue (1999).

John Maddox Roberts has been able to take his perception of becoming a writer “because it looked easy” and make it a reality...he seems to spin his stories with ease. Roberts’ reality becomes the reader’s fantasy…..science fiction…..and mystery.


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