Born in Ohio and transplanted to Michigan at the age of six, author J. Ryan Fenzel has always had a story to tell. A desire to write put a pencil in his hand early. Beginning with thinly veiled knock-offs of Star Trek episodes and Ď50ís era horror movies, his childhood writing endeavors evolved into original speculative tales and short suspense stories with a signature twist.
Fenzel earned a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Industrial Operations at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, which helps explain the techno-slant his stories typically employ. His passion for writing survived higher education and a career in industrial controls & process engineering, where creative efforts were limited to technical manuals and training materials.
With the new millennium Fenzel put forth a concerted effort to return to his lifelong ambition. Writing took center stage in a serious way it hadnít before. Early success came with a short fantasy/mystery story, The Grifters of Gildmoor, picked up for publication by a small Midwestern pulp magazine. He went on to create two series characters, speculative detective John Gerard and contemporary detective Nelson Brady, who have provided him serial success in regional mystery and SF magazines. Fenzel's breakout work is Descending from Duty, a Great Lakes techno-thriller released in '06 and still patrolling regional bookstores with a devoted following.
When time permits he enjoys catching up with his favorite authors latest works. Novels by Nelson DeMille, Stephen Coonts, Chuck Logan, Tom Clancy, Lee Child, and Kyle Mills line his shelves. It's no coincidence the influence of these master storytellers and technical craftsmen can be seen in his own writing.
Fenzel holds a special admiration for classic author Mark Twain, whose wit and style first captured his attention in high school English classes. Twain once likened lofty literature to fine wine, saying it was written to be enjoyed by a select few individuals educated in appreciating such offerings. In contrast, Twain pronounced his own writing analogous to water. "But," he then said. "Everybody drinks water."
And it is that sentiment that Fenzel embraces as a guidepost in his own writing efforts.
Fenzel is a member of Mystery Writers of America and resides in southeast Michigan with his wife and two daughters.