I was born October 13, 1981 in Maryland. I’ll let you do your own math on my age, since I’ll likely become embarrassed to admit it one of these days. I come from a long line of military service members, though I myself never joined the service. The first place I clearly remember living is Hamilton AFB when my father was stationed on the USS Enterprise CVN-65 which was based at Alameda. I don’t remember much about those years (I was only 5 when we left), but what I do remember is remarkably vivid. For instance, I can’t remember what my best friend Donald’s house looked like, but I do remember that he had a black cat that loved to get his belly scratched.
From Alameda we drove across the country (literally) to land in Harnett County, North Carolina. That is where I always say I “grew up” though many would likely argue that is an ongoing process to this very day. In any case, that is where I spent the majority of my youth. We lived with my maternal grandparents, Nanny and Granddaddy, on their small farm for the first few years. It was then that I learned many of the lessons of life that continue to shape and mold me today. The years spent at Nanny and Granddaddy’s are also responsible for my love of the outdoors. My father and I would take long walks, sometimes deep into the night, tracing the borders of fields and following barely visible game trails trough the pine and hardwood forests. I think, deep down, a part of me will always think of that small brick house at the end of the dirt road as home.
After attending (and graduating from) Western Harnett High School, I attended several colleges and universities. I obtained a degree in Laser Optics and Photonics Technology from Central Carolina Community College through my first foray into the wild world of higher education. From there, I attended NC State University, and pursued a degree first in Electrical Engineering, and then in Biochemistry/Zoology. I had dreams of becoming a world-renowned venom researcher and pharmaceutical developer. Sadly, a profession working with some of the world’s most deadly serpents is not a very wise path for an individual whose body chemistry is so temperamental that a dozen fire ant stings are enough to put him in the ER.
While at NC State, having some difficulty finding a major that fit me, my personal life took a nose dive. I dropped out of the Air Force ROTC when my second son was born. A long-term relationship ended abruptly and it felt like my world was crumbling to pieces and taking me with it. I tried to run from those problems and took a job with a government contractor building laser systems in Florida. That isolation was the last thing I needed, and it only served to tip me over the edge from distraught and dejected into full blown depression. It was then that I had one of the most profound moments in my life. In the midst of confusion bordering on desperation, my father said the following to me, and it literally changed my entire life:
“Son, you find your road through life, whatever that road is, and you walk it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, and don’t let anything ever stand in your way. The people who love you, who REALLY love you, will walk that road with you every step of the way.”
That conversation changed my perspective on who I was and what my purpose in life should be. It took a while for the full weight of his words to sink in and grow, but that was the moment that set my feet on the road that has led me to where I am now.
I enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and it was there that I met my future wife, Courtney. It was also at UNCW that another earth shattering event occurred in my life. One night in February of 2008, my father passed away suddenly. If it hadn’t been for the friends that had become as close as a second family, the unwavering comfort and support from Courtney, and the deep and abiding faith in God my parents had raised me in, his loss probably would have destroyed me. Even with the various columns of support that quite literally held me up and held me together, it took years to piece myself back together.
Now, I live in Charlotte with Courtney. My youngest son lives with us as does our daughter, and we visit as often as possible with my oldest son, who lives in Florida. We have a warm home, a close and growing family, and a strong faith that is nurtured through our membership at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church. When I look back over the unbelievable chain of events that has taken me from a scrawny three year old with a broken leg in California, walking into an empty house on a Naval base to where I am today….a loving father, devoted husband, and successful author…. I am overwhelmed at the grace and the blessings of my life, and I thank Him daily for them.
And thank you for taking the time to read a bit about who I am, and why…
D. W. McAliley
18 thoughts on “Bio”
Great book. Could use a little proofreading, but not bad at all. Good characters, settings were pretty accurate (I’ve lived in Norfolk and currently live in Chatham County). You have talent, best of luck with the series.
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Thanks for the compliments!! Glad you enjoyed the book and were able to connect with the characters and the story line. My father lived in the VA Beach/Norfolk VA area for more than 10 years when he worked at USJFCOM, so we got to know that area pretty well. Love that part of VA and the tidewater region. I actually grew up in Harnett Co, not far from Chatham. One of my good friends used to do a lot of hunting up in Chatham and I would help him set up deer stands and clear trails from time to time. There’s some beautiful land up that way.
I’m currently working on the manuscript for vol. 2 in the series and hope to have it out this summer, so keep checking back here for details. I’m also working on getting this site set up for ecommerce so I can offer paperback copies directly through the site. Once I get that set and running properly I plan on offering a limited 1st edition signature series.
Thanks again for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. As a first time author I can’t tell you how much the feedback from the readers helps. Not only does it give much needed encouragement, but it also lets me know areas where I can improve. I have had a few people make the comment about proofing, which is greatly appreciated. I went through three rounds of editing before publishing, but by the end of it my brain was fried and I know some things slipped through the cracks. I have the book going through what I hope is the final round of proofing and editing now, so when the 2nd edition is released it should clear up the last of the errors and typos that my brain auto-corrected and I missed.
I greatly enjoyed your book,”Officer of the Watch.” As a retired AF officer and having served in various capacities in intelligence and operations I appreciate your knowledge and attention to detail in your story. I look forward to reading your next book, continuing the story. A great and all to plausible story line. This being August I assume it will not be out this summer. Please add me to your contact list to notify when it is published.
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Thank you for your kind words and for reading the book! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love hearing from any of my readers who contact me, but have a special place for former service members and retired vets. My father was a Naval Academy grad and 20+ years in the service. You guys are a special breed.
I had planned to have the second book ready for release by the end of the summer, but as you pointed out, that probably isn’t going to happen. Between work and vacations with the kids over the summer I lost several weeks of writing time and have fallen somewhat behind schedule.
I am making progress, though, and I’ve adjusted my goal to have the second book out before Thanksgiving. That should give me enough of a cushion that I may be able to get out earlier.
I’ll definitely keep you posted, though. I’m looking at setting up an email newsletter in the next few weeks to keep people posted on updates like that.
Thanks again for the compliments and for stopping by the site. Look forward to hearing from you again.
D W McAliley
I read your book back in April and left a review and I just came to your page todayto check in on the status of the second book. This time, I clicked on your bio and saw Hamilton AFB. My Dad was in the army and stationed at the Presidio when I was in grade school. We lived on HAFB in 77 to 81. Was Pinkies Pizza still there outside the base when you lived there? Best of luck in completing the next installment and I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.
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Thanks for the visit! Small world….
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure about Pinkies Pizza…. Most of my memories of that time center around vague impressions, neighborhood kids I would play with, or very limited and specific events. I’ll ask my mom about that, though, as I’m sure she’d know. Our family has always been big fans of pizza.
And as far as the 2nd installment, the manuscript is complete, and it is currently in the proofing stage. Next it will be on to editing and then it should be ready for formatting and publication. I hesitate to give a firm time line since it really depends on the editing schedule and process. I’m working on cover art and design now, and will be posting a few previews of the cover and some excerpts in the next few weeks, so stop back by from time to time.
I’m still working on getting an email list setup, and should be adding that feature soon.
And THANK YOU for the review!!! Those always help for new authors so prospective readers have something to gauge the book against. I’ve been very blessed with an abundance of positive feedback for this book, and I’m hoping the 2nd volume will have the same kind of reception.
Take care, and Merry Christmas!!
I just finished your second book about five minutes ago. One word sums it up…fantastic! I’ve left a five-star rating and review on Amazon and I believe Goodreads as well. I knew I was hooked before I finished reading the first book, and I kept checking Amazon to see if you had released the second book.
Your characters are amazing and the storyline is compelling and thought provoking. It is wonderful and refreshing to read a series that has characters with morals, ethics, and a commitment to the Constitution.
I’ve really enjoyed the military aspect of your books. I don’t have a military background, but my dad served in the Army during the Korean War as a radio operator in the Pentagon. I wish I knew more about his military service and deeply regret that he passed away before I could find out more.
Kudos and thanks to you for two fantastic books. I’m looking forward to the third and hope you plan to continue the series!
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Thanks so much for the compliments!! I’m glad you enjoyed the book and got to relate to the characters. I definitely plan to continue the series with at least two more books to come (possibly more, depending on where the story takes us). I’m working right now on the outline and manuscript for volume 3: Zero Hour.
I won’t hazard a guess at this point as to when I might be able to finish it. I will definitely post frequent updates here on the site, though.
Thanks again for the kind words, and as always….Thank you for reading!!
Well my friend I was checking back to see if book three is out. You do giveaway with words, fantastic is all I can say. And please let me know what those signed first editions come out. I would love to have a complete set. You take care and if you have time holler at me and let me know bow you are doing.
Xandy of white harbor
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XANDY!!! Always a pleasure to hear from you! I have been working on book 3, but it isn’t out yet. I lost some time over the summer dealing with the sudden and quite unexpected arrival of nine (yes, that’s right…. NINE!!!) puppies. And then I had some complications with my arthritis that made typing just completely out of the question for several weeks.
I am about 35-40% done with the manuscript, which is a good bit behind where I wanted to be, but making progress.
As far as the signed first editions go, I am working on setting this website up for direct sales, and once I get that going I’ll have them available here.
Thanks for the kudos and I will try to do better about staying in touch.
Hey can’t find the website but I want a signed set. Make it to xandy. I will keep checking back
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I will shoot you an email. There is a tab on the site for currently available that should redirect to paypal so you can purchase each one, but the buttons may be broken. I’ll check later and send you an email with the link.
Really enjoyed the first two books, and am eagerly awaiting the third. Not too bad on the military stuff – that and the accuracy of the weapons are the things I look for. You did pretty well.
Just one clanger though – all that dialogue between Price and Marcus, where Price keeps referring to Marcus as ‘Lt Commander’ just sounds wrong in my head. By longstanding custom and tradition, Lt Commanders are addressed as ‘Commander’, (Lt Colonels as ‘Colonel’). Nobody refers to a Lt Commander as ‘Lt Commander’ unless you are in a formal proceeding like a court martial.
Also, not every AR type carbine is an M4.
Thanks for the compliments!! Glad you enjoyed the books. I am working on the 3rd book as we speak, and about 75% of the way done with the manuscript. I had a few setbacks this past year with health concerns that have added time to this project. I had originally planned for the 3rd book to be out by the end of February, but that’s just not gonna happen. Right now it’s looking like late March or sometime in April, unfortunately.
Thanks for the tips as well. I’ve had a couple of other people point out the Lt. Commander thing as well, so that will get picked up in the next round of updates and edits (which should happen shortly after 3rd book comes out). And I will take a look at the use of the M4 definition and see what I can tweak there to make it more accurate. The ones the guys took from the stockpile on the base would def. be M4 with selective fire, but I can see where the ones the park rangers had on hand as possibly being civilian or LEO style rather than M4.
Surprisingly enough, when doing the research, it’s at times difficult to get gov’t agencies and agents to open up about the style of their weapons…. go figure, right?
Thanks again for the compliments, and keep checking back for updates. I haven’t posted much on the site lately as I’ve been working hard on the book, but as that moves into the editing/design phase updates will begin coming more frequently.
And, as always, thanks for reading!
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Keep up the great work, I really have enjoyed everything so far! Thanks for your imagination!
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Thanks for the compliments!! I am working hard on the manuscript for book 3 and I’m getting close to completion on the 1st draft. The first half of the manuscript is also with the editors already, so hopefully that will speed up the process.
As I get closer to publishing I’m going to put up a few excerpts, teaser chapters, and previews of the cover design, so stay in touch.
And thanks for reading!!
When can we expect book 4?
I’m hoping sometime around March-May of next year. I’m working on another long-term project at the moment, and just about done with that manuscript. Once I get that one completed I’ll be back to work on vol.4.