William Nikkel is the author of five Jack Ferrell novels and a steampunk/zombie western featuring his latest hero, Max Traver. A former homicide detective and S.W.A.T. team member for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department in Bakersfield, California, William is an amateur scuba enthusiast, gold prospector and artist, who can be found just about anywhere. He and his wife Karen divide their time between California and Maui, Hawaii.
William was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. Growing up in a small town in the fifties and sixties, he spent a lot of hours outdoors playing. Much of that play involved imagination and creativity. At an early age—actually for as long as he can remember—he immersed himself in his love of art, dreaming that one day he could become a famous artist. But after college, he chose a career in law enforcement and went to work for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.
His work fighting crime in the streets of Bakersfield provided him with life experiences he brings into his writing to breathe life into his characters and scenes. As a deputy sheriff, he worked patrol and then detectives, with special assignments in SWAT and Homicide.
When injury brought about an early retirement, he once again turned to his love of art. After a couple of years and some success as a profession wildlife artist, he discovered the joy of writing. And once again, he drew on the imagination and creativity that was an important part of him growing up.
But like any endeavor worth pursuing, the road to becoming a published author was paved with challenge and disappointment that required dedication and hard work. Having no formal writing background, there was much to be learned. Through the Maui Writers Conference he had the privilege of learning the craft from New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins, Tess Gerritsen, David Morrell, and author Gary Braver—not to mention a host of writers like himself.
In 2001, he and his wife Karen moved to Maui, Hawaii. It was after moving there that he decided to write a series of novels based on the islands’ many mystical legends and myths. The protagonist, he reasoned, had to love the ocean. Thus, marine biologist Jack Ferrell was created. In 2008 he finished his first Jack Ferrell novel GLIMMER OF GOLD. Next he wrote NIGHT MARCHERS, and then CAVE DWELLER. In 2011 he finished his fourth Jack Ferrell novel MURRIETA GOLD. All four books have since been re-released by Suspense Publishing. BLOOD GOLD, his latest novel through Suspense Publishing, was released December 2014. The entire series is available for order in e-book and trade paperback through Amazon and Suspense Publishing.
When he’s not writing or researching his next book, you’re likely to find William under water or in a creek prospecting for gold. He and his wife divide their time between Maui and California.