Daniel Clerc grew up on a five-generation family farm nestled on the bluffs overlooking the historic village of Prairie du Rocher in Southern Illinois. It was there (in order to occupy his mind during long hours of work) that his imagination began to develop the deep and twisting plots that eventually culminated in The Chronicles of Gillean. He spent hours immersed in the classics; Robin Hood, Aladdin, Sinbad, Ivanhoe, and Lord of the Rings. Then there was the exploding world of popular science fiction; War of the Worlds, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Star Wars, and Buck Rogers…and we can’t forget the tales of Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, and David Banner.

After high school, he loaded up his car (an old Chevy that he rescued from the scrap heap) and worked to put himself through college. Before and after classes, he had jobs that ranged the extremes—from working as a hired farmhand, to tutoring on campus, valet parking cars, and carrying bags as a bellman at the Marriott. At some point in the first years of college at Southern Illinois University, his passions pulled him toward science and medicine. He became an EMT, completed bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biology, and earned a master’s degree in biochemistry. His bench research and master’s thesis involved investigations into the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair. From there, he attended Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He graduated with a medical degree in 1998 and completed a family medicine residency program at a hospital affiliated with his alma mater. One of his proudest academic achievements was to be voted senior resident of the year by his peers and supervising physicians. During that period of his life, he also became a certified death investigator, gained experience in forensic pathology, and briefly studied abroad — in London.

Dan worked locums as an emergency room physician and practiced family medicine for several years in Missouri before relocating to Washington State. Along with his family, he settled in the South Puget Sound Region. He completed additional post-doctoral training and became board certified in Sleep Medicine. At this time, he continues to practice sleep disorder medicine in the Pacific Northwest.

While science and medicine, and an unyielding drive to improve the quality of his patients’ lives, have him firmly in their grip, he has other intense interests. He has lectured on a variety of medical topics and enjoys teaching. He has often stated that if he weren’t in medicine, he would be teaching political and military history, having a special interest in the events of the American Civil War. The consummate storyteller, he loves tales of adventure and science fiction.

He has a very supportive and loving family that includes his wife (me), two daughters, one son, a German Shepherd, and a really big cat who weighs more than 30 pounds (a Maine Coon). Dan is active in fitness, and one of his milestone achievements was running in the footsteps of the ancient Athenians. We ran together from the battlefield of Marathon to the city of Athens to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the original battle.

For the greater part of a decade, Dan would disappear – I’d find him somewhere in the house working on this series of books. Other times, I would awaken in the middle of the night to find a stream of light peeking out from under the study door. The Chronicles of Gillean: A Time to Fight is the first book of the series.

-Jane Miller-Clerc

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