Blakely, Mike: - A native of Texas, Mike Blakely grew up working on the family ranch. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the former president of Western Writers of America and has taught fiction writing at numerous workshops nationwide. His novel Summer of Pearls is the 2001 winner of the Spur Award for Best Western Novel. Also a singer/songwriter, Blakely tours all over the U.S. and in Europe with his band and records his original songs on his own independent record label. He currently lives on his horse ranch near Marble Falls, Texas.