James R. Coggins

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Personal Information

James R. Coggins

James R. Coggins grew up in the small town of Waterford, Ontario. He wrote his first novel in high school, but fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He earned a B.A. (English and History) and M.A. (History) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., a Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, and a Ph.D (History) from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He then served briefly as an editor with the Mennonite Brethren Herald for 19 years. During the first seven of those years, he lived in Winnipeg, a period he remembers as the longest winter of his life. Eventually, he turned to a life of crime writing. The hero of his murder mystery books, John Smyth, is named after the 17th-century English Separatist who was the subject of his doctoral dissertation and is modeled on his own life as an editor – except that, at five-foot-four, he is much taller than John Smyth. He and his wife Jackie have two daughters. They now live in Abbotsford, B.C., where he ekes out a living as a freelance editor and writer.

James is an evangelical Christian who believes in the authority of the Bible and orthodox Christian doctrine. He has served in Christian churches in a number of capacities.


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