Nelson C. Nye was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 28, 1907. His first novel, The Killer of Cibecue, was published in 1936. He wrote over 125 books during his lifetime including Desert of the Damned, Death Comes Riding, and The Kid from Lincoln County. He also wrote under a variety of pseudonyms including Clem Colt, Craig Phillips, Walt Bender, and Drake C. Denver. He won two Golden Spur Awards, one for best Western reviewer and critic and the other for the novel Long Run. He co-founded the Western Writers of America Guild. He served with the U.S. Army Field Artillery during World War II and worked as the horse editor for Texas Livestock Journal from 1949-1952. He was a recognized expert in quarter horses and wrote several books on the subject including Great Moments in Quarter Horse Racing History. He also was the frontier fiction reviewer for the New York Times Book Review from 1958-1962. He died on October 4, 1997 at the age 90.