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Biography of Jack R. Pyle

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Jack R. Pyle's pen looks behind the scenes of his native Appalachia, but whose work is never confined to one place, one time, or one theme. He writes mysteries, love stories, women's rights during the Civil War, and young adult fiction.

     Jack R. Pyle was born in Appalachia in a coal mining town that doesn't exist anymore.  He has lived in New York City--the part they used to call Hell's Kitchen--in Miami, in St. Petersburg.  He discovered Western North Carolina as a young boy on one of the many trips from Ohio to Florida, that time over the Cumberland Gap.

     Jack was, at one time in his New York career, secretary to the novelist and writer, Jan Struther, author of "Mrs. Miniver," later to become a movie starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon--still seen on the old movie channels.

     He is a life-long writer, but a published writer only in the last twenty years.  He says age is not a factor, but courage is.  When he finally screwed up his courage, when he finally began sending short stories out, he, in his own words "became a writer." Yes, he has been rejected--yes, he still receives rejections.  There is a difference.  He understands that the T in Talent, is not as important as the P in Persistence.  Jack is currently working on a novel.

     Jack co-authored the two "moon" books with Taylor Reese because he came from that background and because he could see this bit of planting lore being lost on the "Computer Generation."  Ask him if he really believes "that stuff," and he bristles.  "The farmer's almanac lives because it works," he  says, "and what's more, take my advice, don't ever start a book--a long writing project--that you don't believe in."

     Jack has written all of this life, but he didn't start serious writing until after he had served a stint in the service of his country and a longer stint in the commercial world.  He says it just didn't occur to him that people would want to pay to read what he had been writing all those years.  Since he began submitting his work for publication, he has become active in the library systems across the country as a willing speaker for Friends of the Library and other support groups.  He is always ready to do a reading, join a panel, give a talk, or donate books.

     With Taylor Reese, his life long friend, Jack participated in the 130-author "NOVELLO, A Festival of Reading" in Charlotte NC,  the 160-author KENTUCKY BOOK FAIR in 1996 and they were invited back in 1997 but had scheduling problems. They returned to Kentucky again in '98, '99, '00, '01, 02, '03 and '04. They were participants in the first ever Western North Carolina Book Fair, "The Festival of Books and Authors" at East Tennessee State University,  The Carl Sandburg Book Fair (Hendersonville, NC), The High Country Book Fair (Banner Elk, NC), and most recently, The Great Smoky Mountain Book Fair (Sylva, NC). 

     An award winning novelist, Jack writes of the Florida of John D. McDonald, and the mountains of Sharyn McCrumb.  He writes of the human condition, and he captures that picture exactly as his discerning eye encounters it, without whitewash.

     Jack is a member of the Writers Guild of Western North Carolina, The Appalachian Authors Guild and several other writer-related organizations. He is a private pilot and was once a golf and fishing adict, but the business of being a writer these days altered his lifestyle.  These other hobbies have taken a backseat to writing and promotion that now takes away all his spare time, one way or another.

      He likes to write in the mornings--he's pooped by noon.  He believes, however, that there must be a writing habit--a time and place, a routine.

     The biggest challenge to writing is finding time.  The business of writing and the business of living takes a toll.  

Jack R. Pyle, 925 Blue Rock Road, Burnsville, NC 28714
Telephone (828) 675-4865 , e-mail:

Jack R. Pyle & Taylor Reese, North Carolina Authors