David Marion Wilkinson, a fifth-generation Arkansan, has lived in Texas since 1972. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1980 with a Bachelor's degree in English. The author has worked as a carpenter, mortgage loan officer, an investigator for a civil trial firm, in the oil fields of Texas, Louisiana, Saudi Arabia and the North Sea, as a part-time ranch hand in Texas's Big Bend, and occasional hunting guide in the Texas Hill Country. For nearly four years, he was also the writer-in-residence for Sul Ross State University. Wilkinson's second novel, The Empty Quarter, draws upon his experiences in the North Sea and Saudi Arabia. His short story, Opening Day, won the Western Writers of America 2000 Spur Award for Best Western Short Fiction. His third novel, Oblivion's Altar, won the 2003 Spur Award for Best Original Paperback and was selected as a finalist for the 2003 Oklahoma Book Awards. Wilkinson cowrote One Ranger: A Memoir with retired Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson. Now in its tenth printing, One Ranger: A Memoir has become the fastest-selling book in the history of the University of Texas Press. Wilkinson is currently at work on a historical novel set in West Texas in the 1950s.