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A friend once told Kevin A. Lyons that he has a “writer’s biography.”
He was born in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, in New York City. His family moved to New Jersey while he was still an infant, and he grew up in the suburbs near Revolutionary War battlefields, the Great Swamp, and the Pine Barrens. He was never a very diligent student, but he did manage to graduate with a degree in Geology from Rutgers University.
While at Rutgers his summer job was as a security escort in the South Bronx. This was in the 1970’s, during the “Fort Apache” era -- in fact, the 41st Precinct was in his territory.
After graduation he worked on oil wells as a mud logger, mostly in remote locations. He spent one winter working on oil wells on the North Slope of Alaska, and the next winter on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. In between, he worked on conventional wells in California, Texas and Louisiana. The last well he worked on was the test well in Georges Banks, off the coast of New England.
He returned to New Jersey and found a job with the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game, and Shellfisheries (as it was known at the time). He began work in the Bureau of Law Enforcement, doing office work and radio dispatching. He then transferred to the Bureau of Wildlife Management and worked outdoors maintaining Wildlife Management Areas. While with Wildlife Management he was called to assist with two forest fires. He spent his last few months there driving a pickup truck and retrieving roadkill deer from highways in four counties.
Next, Lyons bought a suit and moved to New England to work for the telephone company. When the Bell System broke up he went with AT&T, and moved back to New Jersey. He rose through regional and national technical support positions, and ultimately became a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs.
He left Bell Labs to become a stay-at-home dad. He also volunteered at a local therapeutic riding center for several years.
Kevin A. Lyons sold his first story, The Star Creature, to Unearth Magazine in 1979. His second sale, Billy Wolfe’s Riding Spirit, was reprinted in the anthology The Year’s Best Horror Stories, Series VIII (1980, DAW Books, edited by Karl Edward Wagner).