Hi! I'm Colin Wells and this is my website.
You might not guess it unless you've googled me, but there are actually a number of people named "Colin Wells" out there, and a few of them have written books. So to clear up any possible misunderstanding, I should say that I'm not the Colin Wells who wrote the excellent book called The Roman Empire. That Colin Wells (no relation) is an established and well respected professor of classics and ancient history, which I am not, though I've studied both subjects. The potential for confusion is even greater since a) I've written about the Byzantine empire, which was the successor of Rome; and b) we both spent time at Oxford University (where I had trouble checking out books because the other Colin Wells had overdue fines!). So I thought I should clear that up right away.
I'm not the actor Colin Wells either. Or the mountain climber. Or the cricket star. Or the English professor. Or the guitar teacher.
Who'd have thought there'd be so many of us?
Maybe someday we can have a convention. With name tags, of course.
Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you a little about myself. I've written professionally since 1990, when I began working for a small publishing company called Moss and Wilson in Santa Monica, CA. The two people who ran the company, Joyce Moss and George Wilson, put together educational reference books for a large publisher called Gale Research. They both became good friends of mine. When George passed away in the 1990s, Joyce carried on under the name Moss Publishing. I've written hundreds of reference articles as part of this ongoing freelance job, which has been a huge part of my education. It was also great practice as a writer. Joyce remains one of my dearest friends and I hope we continue to work together.
In the meantime, I was trying to put together a proposal for a book of my own about the cultural legacy of the Byzantine empire, a subject that I became interested in during my undergraduate days at UCLA. That book ultimately became Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World (Delacorte, 2006). Along the way I also wrote two other books: Stick Like Glue (Saddleback, 1993), a mystery story for young readers (I love mysteries and hope to write a grown-up one someday); and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Saudi Arabia (Alpha, 2003), which came my way because of research I was doing on Arabic history for Sailing from Byzantium.
My latest book also reflects my interest in history. In fact, it's called A Brief History of History, and it tells the story of history itself by looking at the lives and work of the great historians. It was published by Lyons Press in October 2008.
In 1998 I moved from Los Angeles back to the region where I grew up, the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York State. It's a beautiful, rugged, rural area. I live in the country, on the shore of Lake Champlain, with two dogs, both Samoyeds, named Sebastian and Sassafras. A couple of years ago Sassafras (who was still a puppy) tried to eat a kitten that she found under a tree - and so now I also have a cat called Fearless, because she is. Today, The Fearless One presides over a feline household made up of her offspring and several adoptees. I love to hike, bike, cross-country ski, and simply walk in the woods with my dogs. I write a weekly column for my local paper, The Valley News, about what's going on in my home town of Westport, and I also work at the after-school program in town.
I hope you enjoy this site, and my books. I'll continue updating the site regularly: upcoming features will include the next installment of the Nickel Tour and a page for my next book project. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think. I love to hear from readers!