Wayne Thomas Batson was born in Seabrook, MD in 1968. He had an adventurous childhood and adolescence that included: building forts in the woods, crabbing and crayfishing in bays, ponds, and bayous, playing lead guitar in a heavy metal band, and teaching tennis lessons at the local recreation center. He attended Gabriel DuVal Senior High School where he wrote for the school's newspaper and literary magazine. He was voted "Most Talented" in his senior year, and wrote this for his Yearbook Senior Goal: "To become a published author." Little did he know that God had even greater plans. Batson graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1991 with a BA in English and Secondary Education. In 1996, he earned a graduate degree in Counseling and has continued his studies with 36 credit hours of graduate-level Reading courses. Wayne Thomas Batson has spent the last twenty-four years teaching Reading and English to middle school students. He pioneered the active instruction of Strategic Reading in Anne Arundel County. Most recently, he helped develop the Challenge Reading Curriculum for advanced readers in Howard County, Maryland. Wayne Thomas Batson lives in Eldersburg with his extraordinary wife of 21 years and his four amazing (and challenging) teenage children. Batson's writing career began in 2005 with the publication of fantasy epic, The Door Within. Since then, The Door Within, The Final Storm, Isle of Swords, and Isle of Fire have all appeared on the CBA Young Adult Bestseller List, including #2 for The Final Storm Fall 2007. To date, Batson has penned or coauthored seventeen novels and has sold well over half a million copies. Batson's works have garnered many awards and nominations including: Mom's Choice, Cybil, Lamplighter, Silver Moonbeam, ACFW Book of the Year, and The Clive Staples Award. Mr. Batson and Isle of Swords, his pirate adventure novel, were featured on the front page of The Washington Post, and he was interviewed live on Fox's nationally televised morning show. But most importantly, all of Batson's works are "student approved," meaning that, over the years, the middle school kids in his classes have given each novel a rigorous critique and enthusiastic thumbs up. Wayne Thomas Batson gives thanks to God for the abundant life he's been given. He continues to write for the kids he cares so deeply about because he believes that, on a deep level, we all long for another world and yearn to do something important.