C. C. Finlay was born in 1964 in New York City but soon thereafter was banished to rural Ohio. His childhood was divided equally between playing in the woods and reading his way through the fiction shelves of his small town’s Carnegie library. Like Jay Gatsby, he studied abroad briefly at the University of Oxford, and it was there, at New College, founded in 1379 around a remnant of the old city wall built by William the Conqueror, that he fell in love with history. He studied literature at Capital University and did graduate work in history at the Ohio State University, where he was a research assistant on two award-winning books about the U.S. Constitution. He started writing fiction after the birth of his first son because he wanted to set an example about chasing one’s dreams. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Rae, and two sons, all smart readers, who keep him honest.