Born in San Francisco, California, Christopher Newman was educated in Silicon Valley schools, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Birmingham University, England. He traveled overland from Europe across the Asian subcontinent to Singapore alone in his late teens. Before he was 21 he'd worked for a year aboard a tanker plying trade between the Persian Gulf and ports around the Pacific rim. He wrote the first draft of his third published novel, Manana Man, while in residence in Cali, Colombia his senior year in college. At 27, he moved to New York City, working as a trim carpenter for five years in Manhattan before publishing his first Joe Dante novel, Midtown South, in 1985. When that title met with considerable commercial success, his publisher convinced him to turn his protagonist into a series character. Eight more Joe Dante novels followed, all making various national best seller lists. Midtown North, published in 1991, was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Chains of Command, left unfinished at the time of best-selling author William Caunitz' death in 1998, was completed by Mr. Newman at the estate's request. It was named a 1999 New York Times Notable Book of the Year.