Saturday, November 20, 1999

Richard Hoyt

Richard Hoyt is the author of twenty-one mysteries and thrillers; two under the alias of Nicholas van Pelt. His first novel, Decoys, a John Denson mystery, was published in 1980. Since then, he has published seven John Denson mysteries and eight James Burlane international thrillers.

Richard, born in Hermiston, Oregon, grew up on a small farm outside Umatilla, Oregon. His father was a moonshiner and a rodeo cowboy; his mother was manager of the school cafeteria. He has a Master of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon and a PhD in American studies from the University of Hawaii. He served as a counterintelligence agent for the United States Army and was a fellow in international editing and reporting at the Washington Journalism Center. He served briefly as a Washington correspondent for newspapers in the Pacific Northwest and was a reporter for two years for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and three years for the Honolulu Advertiser. He taught journalism and mass media courses at the University of Maryland, College Park, and for six years at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

In researching his thrillers, I learned that he has traveled to Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Gibraltar, Canada, Jamaica, England, Portugal, Hong Kong, Brazil, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands, Spain, and Belize. His last overseas trip to he Philippines lasted over three years. In 1984, he rode Soviet trains from Nadhodka, near Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan to Finland. In 1987, he rode riverboats from the headwaters of the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean.

Richard’s novel, Siege, won the American Mystery Award as the best espionage novel of 1987. His latest novel, Stomp, set in 1957, is an existential mystery and a coming of age story. It is largely autobiographical, based on Hoyt's growing up in Umatilla. The book deals with true love, a series of rapes, a bit of stalking, near-death train-proximity sex, a murder attempt (by the heroes), ruined lives, a body found after forty years, and the return of the exiled author in time for his appearance tonight, one more stop on an extended book tour.

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