Gary Penley grew up on a remote cattle ranch on the high plains of eastern Colorado, with neither electricity nor hot water. His unique childhood fostered his inquisitive mind and his propensity for storytelling. Following his grandfathers death, Penley and his mother moved to Lamar, Colorado, where he finished high school. He then joined the navy and traveled to such countries as Spain and Japan and through the icy seas of the Arctic Circle by submarine.
Following his discharge from the military, Penley attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where he received a degree in geology and graduated first in his class. He then earned a masters degree in geology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Toward the end of his thirty-year career as a petroleum geologist, which involved exploring the Gulf of Mexico in search of oil and gas, he began writing full time.
Penley, an accomplished speaker, spent ten years in Toastmasters International, a world leader in enabling people to become confident communicators in front of an audience. He has embarked on two book-signing tours, which encompassed eleven states; presented at BEA; and appeared at several state library association events and numerous conventions.
He is a member of Pikes Peak Writers, and he taught a writing seminar for the Colorado Association of Libraries. A skilled archer and expert on early American antiques, he enjoys leathercraft, woodworking, and restoring furniture. Penley lives in Divide, Colorado, with his wife.