A 1949 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a major in journalism, Chester D. Campbell has pursued nearly every kind of writing. He became a reporter for The Knoxville Journal during his junior year in college. When the Korean War interrupted his newspaper career, he spent a year crafting reports dealing with enemy air activity as an intelligence officer at 5th Air Force Headquarters in Seoul. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal as a result of that assignment.

Back from the Far East he married his fiancée, Alma, and returned to his hometown, Nashville. He was a reporter for The Nashville Banner, worked for a PR agency handling publicity for the city’s mayor, wrote speeches for a governor and free-lanced articles for such national publications as Coronet, The American Legion Magazine and The Rotarian. Then he got obsessed with the idea of publishing his own magazine. He put together a small team and launched Nashville Magazine, the city’s first consumer monthly.

Leaving the magazine in 1969, he tried a new style of writing, turning out advertising copy for such accounts as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. Next came a total career change into association management. It involved mostly managing, although he still edited a bimonthly magazine as executive vice president of the 4,000-member Tennessee Association of Life Underwriters, a job he held until retirement.

Campbell’s first venture into book publishing came in the 1960’s when he wrote a guide for Nashville tourists. His 150-year history of City Road Chapel United Methodist Church in Madison, TN was published in 1998. But fiction had been his secret love since 1947, when he penned a novel while a student at UT. That one ended up in a box in the attic. He wrote another in the late 1960’s, generating interest among a few editors, but it failed to find a publisher. After retirement, he turned to writing fiction in earnest and Secret of the Scroll was bought by Durban House Publishing Co. of Dallas.

Campbell stayed active in the Air National Guard and Reserve until retirement as a lieutenant colonel, the same rank held by his fictional character Greg McKenzie. Campbell has four children and eight grandchildren. He re-married in 1999 after Alma’s death. He and his wife Sarah live in Madison, where he is hard at work on more novels featuring the McKenzies.

Member: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Tennessee Writers Alliance, Tennessee Mountain Writers