Gary McAvoy has been a working writer all his life, starting with a small-town weekly newspaper column and regional Southern California magazines in his youth, to corporate communications for his own businesses and client projects, and on to published nonfiction books. Influenced by independent thinkers in his early twenties, Gary took the path less traveled, forging an entrepreneurial career with a diverse range of skills, with technology at its core since his early U.S. Army mainframe “keypunch” days in Germany (as this photo reveals, when hair was abundant and it came with color).
The promise of a burgeoning computer industry in the 1990s drew Gary from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest, where he started a software company with a brilliant product and a bright future—but a short lifespan. Smoldering from the flames of that burnout, Gary enthusiastically began work on a long-planned historical novel on the Knights Templar and the Priory of Sion, until somebody else published the same idea in a book called The Da Vinci Code.
While consulting on the side to support his dreams as a struggling artist, Gary chanced upon an intriguing part-time gig few people are even aware of—as a literary media escort for authors on book tour. For several years, mainly in spring and fall book seasons, he worked closely with scores of the most talented authors writing today, managing the Seattle leg of their promotional media tours. The work was intense and fast-paced, usually lasting one to three days, until each author boarded a plane for the next city on their tour schedule. It was during this time he had the privilege of escorting primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, and over the next three days the two formed a close and lasting bond, one which, a few years later, resulted in their collaborative work on Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating.
Photo by Mary Lewis
These days tech consulting keeps Gary's left brain in logical check, while the right is nurtured by writing and an enthusiasm for written history, best explored as a collector/dealer of antique and vintage handwritten letters and manuscripts, along with other literary treasures that stir his interest. Those who share this passion know few things compare to holding history in their hands—a letter penned by Ernest Hemingway to his editor, for example, or one by Truman Capote discussing work on his bestselling nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, s story about one of America’s most iconic true crimes.
It was this last acquisition, in fact, that sparked the intriguing discoveries leading up to Gary's forthcoming book, And Every Word Is True, a revealing look at startling new details he unearthed while researching the investigation surrounding the 1959 Clutter family murders, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Capote's book. After battling a mystifying but ruthless lawsuit instigated by the State of Kansas to prevent his book from being published, Gary and his collaborator, Ronald Nye, ultimately prevailed in court. Nearly seven years in the making, And Every Word Is True is required reading for anyone who thinks In Cold Blood is the end of the story. It isn't.
A 1962 letter from Truman Capote to KBI Special Agent Harold Nye
(Viewable version coming soon in the Evidence Room)
Beyond his interests in writing, technology, and history, over the years Gary has volunteered time and resources to worthy organizations whose work he supports, including the Jane Goodall Institute, Seattle Humane Society, and the Washington Technology Industry Association.
He holds active memberships in the Authors Guild, PEN America, International Thriller Writers, Alliance of Independent Authors, Independent Book Publishers Association, The Manuscript Society, and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Legacy Society.
He is still working on that novel.