James R. Coggins grew up in the small town of Waterford, Ontario. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He earned a B.A. (English and History) and M.A. (History) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., a Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, and a Ph.D (History) from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He then served briefly as an editor with the Mennonite Brethren Herald for 19 years. During the first seven of those years, he lived in Winnipeg, a period he remembers as the longest winter of his life. Eventually, he turned to a life of crime writing. The hero of his murder mystery books, John Smyth, is named after the 17th-century English Separatist who was the subject of his doctoral dissertation and is modelled on his own life as an editor – except that, at five-foot-four, he is much taller than John Smyth. He and his wife live near Vancouver, B.C., where he has gained worldwide acclaim as an editor and writer.
To find out more, visit his website: www.coggins.ca
In 2012, James R. Coggins established Mill Lake Books. The long-term goal is that Mill Lake Books will operate somewhat like a writers’ cooperative, providing an umbrella under which books (primarily novels, biographies and Christian books) can be published. Mill Lake Books operates as a semi-independent imprint of Judson Lake House Publishers, which handles distribution for both companies. Mill Lake Books is named after Mill Lake Park in the centre of Abbotsford, which figured prominently in Coggins’s 2005 novel Mountaintop Drive (Moody Publishers).