Joe C. Ellis grew up in the Ohio Valley. A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, he attended West Liberty State College in West Virginia and went on to earn his Master’s Degree in education from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He has been employed by Martins Ferry City Schools for the last thirty-four years where he currently teaches art and computer graphics at Martins Ferry High School. He also has been lay preaching for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. for the last twenty-two years. He pastors two churches in the Martins Ferry area, the Scotch Ridge Presbyterian Church and the Colerain Presbyterian Church.
His writing career began in 2001 with the publication of his first novel, The Healing Place. In 2007 he began the Outer Banks Murder Series with the publication of Murder at Whalehead and in 2010 Murder at Hatteras. The popularity of this series continues to grow with his 2012 installment, Murder on the Outer Banks. The next novel in this series, Murder at Ocracoke, is scheduled for August of 2014
Joe credits family vacations on the Outer Banks with the inspiration for these stories. Joe and his wife, Judy, have three children and three grandsons. Although the kids have flown the nest, they get together often and always make it a priority to vacation on the Outer Banks whenever possible. He comments, “It’s a place on the edge of the world, a place of great beauty and sometimes danger—the ideal setting for murder mysteries.”
One of Joe’s passions is distance running. Murder on the Outer Banks opens with a 5K footrace in which an older man runs to victory against much younger competition. In the last several years Joe has posted 5k times and half marathon times at the national class level for his age group. Because running definitely keeps him younger physically and mentally, he enjoyed writing a novel with these themes as important threads in the plot. Joe hopes to continue to write stories set on the Outer Banks and run along its beaches for many years to come.
His latest novel, The Old Man and the Marathon, was inspired and modeled after Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Joe would like to write a sequel to this novel called The Old Man and the Boston Marathon. Before he writes the book, though, he wants to qualify for the Boston Marathon and actually run it. In 2009 he ran the Pittsburgh Marathon and qualified for the Boston. However, time slipped by on him and he missed the cut off date to secure a spot in the race. If you enjoyed this novel and would like to read the sequel, please let Joe know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.