About The Author 2023-09-16T19:28:57-07:00

Larry Kelley is a writer and a contract negotiator in the construction industry and whimsically describes himself as an adventurer and an early developer of the modern skateboard. He attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and earned a B.A. in English Literature. In between readings of Keats and Wordsworth, he took up surfing and zealously adopted the resident neo-beat-generation surfing subculture of Isla Vista, the off-campus “youth ghetto” overlooking the Pacific.

Reminiscent of the narrator in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, soon after graduation and with practically no money, Kelley embarked on several solo, madcap, endless-summer surfing explorations beginning with sojourns at the international surfing Mecca of Biarritz, France, and moved on to Lisbon, Tangiers, Casablanca as well as other unnamed, hang-outs and breaks in southern Morocco and the Spanish Sahara. After a surf trip to the Caribbean and Central America, Kelley moved to Vail, Colorado, to ski and write his first novel.

From Vail, he moved to San Francisco and was an account manager in commercial security and a freelance writer. His articles appeared in many publications, including Human Events Magazine, Townhall Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. During this period, Kelley returned to the mountains with his good friend, Christian Lustic, and climbed the five tallest peaks in the lower 48 states, including the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. (Summit photo above.)

While in San Francisco, he met his future wife, the alluring Deborah Dickson. “I snatched her from a group of suiters in a move worthy of James Dean,” says Kelley. Although she disputes Kelley’s version of their meeting, she recounts, “He proposed, and I accepted his proposal after a whirlwind eight weeks.” 

Today, they have two loving and successful sons, Brendan, a world-class skier, and Austin, an international surfer, both inheriting their father’s love of adventure and learning. “If it weren’t for my wife, I would have failed in life, and my sons would not be where they are today. She has been our gift from God,” he says.  

In 2012, Kelley’s epochal book, Lessons from Fallen Civilizations, appeared to great acclaim. It not only answers many questions raised by the attacks of 9/11 but chronicles the rise of and causes for the fall of five great civilizations. It is a saga that begins on the plain of Marathon in 490 BC and ends with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. Its main character is Western Civilization.

Today Kelley’s new book is a historical fiction novel, An American Slave in Barbery – The Confessions of Tyler Prescott Jones. It is an allegory for the present and, like his first book, an adventure story that makes us remember – Freedom is always under siege.