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Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony

Overview
Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England) is an English American
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 writer
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 in the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth
Xanth
Xanth is a fantasy world created by author Piers Anthony for his Xanth series of novels, also known as The Magic of Xanth.-History:The name Xanth is in itself an unintentional pun, which matches the playful tone of the books...

.

Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list
New York Times Best Seller list
The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. It is published weekly in The New York Times Book Review magazine, which is published in the Sunday edition of The New York Times and as a stand-alone publication...

. He has claimed that one of his greatest achievements has been to publish a book for every letter of the alphabet, from Anthonology to Zombie Lover
Zombie Lover
Zombie Lover is the twenty-second book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.-Plot summary:Breanna, a beautiful young newcomer to the enchanted land of Xanth, must deal with a distressing dilemma...

.

Anthony's family immigrated to the United States from Britain when he was six.
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Encyclopedia
Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England) is an English American
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 writer
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 in the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth
Xanth
Xanth is a fantasy world created by author Piers Anthony for his Xanth series of novels, also known as The Magic of Xanth.-History:The name Xanth is in itself an unintentional pun, which matches the playful tone of the books...

.

Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list
New York Times Best Seller list
The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. It is published weekly in The New York Times Book Review magazine, which is published in the Sunday edition of The New York Times and as a stand-alone publication...

. He has claimed that one of his greatest achievements has been to publish a book for every letter of the alphabet, from Anthonology to Zombie Lover
Zombie Lover
Zombie Lover is the twenty-second book of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.-Plot summary:Breanna, a beautiful young newcomer to the enchanted land of Xanth, must deal with a distressing dilemma...

.

Early life


Anthony's family immigrated to the United States from Britain when he was six. He graduated from Goddard College in Vermont in 1956. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen while serving in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 in 1958. After completing a two year stint in military service, he briefly taught school at Admiral Farragut Academy
Admiral Farragut Academy
Admiral Farragut Academy is a college preparatory school with Naval training founded in 1933 in Pine Beach, New Jersey by, among others, Admiral Samuel Robison, one-time President of RCA, and former Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is named after Admiral...

 in St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It is known as a vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists. As of 2008, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 245,314, making St...

 before becoming a fulltime writer.

Marriage and early career


Piers Anthony met his future wife, Carol Marble, while both were attending college. They were married in 1956, the same year he graduated from Goddard College
Goddard College
Goddard College is a private, liberal arts college located in Plainfield, Vermont, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Goddard College currently operates on an intensive low-residency model...

, Plainfield, Vermont
Plainfield, Vermont
Plainfield is a town in Washington County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,286 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Plainfield is located at ....

. After a series of odd jobs Piers Anthony decided to join the U.S. Army in 1957 for a steady source of income and medical coverage for his pregnant wife. He would stay in the Army until 1959; he became a U.S. citizen during this time. While in the army, he became an editor and cartoonist for the battalion newspaper. After leaving the army, he spent a brief stint as a public school teacher before trying his hand at becoming a full-time writer.

Anthony and his wife made a deal—if he could sell a piece of writing within one year, she would continue to work to support him. But if he could not sell anything in that year, then he would forever give up his dream of being a writer. At the end of the year, he managed to get a short story published. He credits his wife as the person who made his writing career possible, and he advises aspiring writers that they need to have a source of income other than their writing in order to get through the early years of a writing career.

Writing


On multiple occasions Anthony has moved from one publisher to another (taking a profitable hit series with him), when he says he felt the editors were unduly tampering with his work. He has sued publishers for accounting malfeasance and won judgments in his favor. Anthony maintains an Internet Publishers Survey in the interest of helping aspiring writers. For this service, he won the 2003 "Friend of EPIC" award for service to the electronic publishing community. His website won the Special Recognition for Service to Writers award from Preditors and Editors
Preditors and Editors
Preditors and Editors is a website started in 1997, managed by Dave Kuzminski. The site was designed to be a reference source for the writer, composer, and game designer...

, an author's guide to publishers and writing services.

Anthony invested as an angel investor
Angel investor
An angel investor or angel is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity...

 in Xlibris
Xlibris
Xlibris is a Bloomington, Indiana-based self-publishing and on-demand printing services provider founded in 1997., The New York Times stated it to be the foremost on-demand publisher. The founder and chief executive is John Feldcamp.- Overview :...

 at one point, and is now a co-owner along with Random House
Random House
Random House, Inc. is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It has been owned since 1998 by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a movie production arm, Random House Films,...

.

Many of his popular novel series have been optioned for movies. His popular series Xanth inspired a video game, Companions of Xanth
Companions of Xanth
Companions of Xanth is an adventure game published in 1993 by Legend Entertainment. The game is based on Piers Anthony's Xanth novels and is loosely based around much of the plot of his novel Demons Don't Dream, in which a young man uses a computer game to enter and explore the world of...

, by Legend Entertainment
Legend Entertainment
Legend Entertainment was an American developer of computer games, best known for their complex, distinctive adventure titles throughout the 1990s....

 for DOS
DOS
DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

. The series also spawned a board game called Xanth by Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games is a publisher of board, card, and roleplaying games. They also license German-style board games and publish them in English throughout the world...

.

Anthony's novels usually end with a chapter-long Author's Note, in which he talks about himself, his life, and his experiences as they related to the process of writing the novel. He often discusses correspondence with readers and any real-world issues that influenced the novel.

Personal life


Anthony currently lives with his wife on a tree farm
Tree farm
A tree farm is a privately owned forest managed for timber production. The term tree farm is also used to refer to plantations and to tree nurseries.-American Tree Farm System:...

 which he owns in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. He and his wife had two daughters, Penny and Cheryl, and have one grandchild, Logan.

On September 3, 2009, their daughter Penelope "Penny" Carolyn Jacob died from apparent respiratory paralysis following surgery for melanoma
Melanoma
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye...

 which had metastasized to her brain. She is survived by her husband and her daughter, Logan.

External links