Bill Syken (a k a, me) is the author of the novel HANGMAN’S GAME, which was published by Thomas Dunne Books/Minotaur/St. Martin’s and is available for purchase now. Booklist has called HANGMAN’S GAME “the very best sports-themed mystery in years.”
I worked in journalism for many years, beginning in 1993, reporting on news and features at the Centre Daily Times in State College Pa. and later for the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. Then I moved to New York City, where I worked at a magazine called Art & Antiques and a technology publication called On, before joining Sports Illustrated. I worked at Sports Illustrated as a reporter and editor from 2002-2009, and my work there greatly informed Hangman’s Game.
Because I was one of the few reporters at Sports Illustrated who did not come from a traditional sports background, many of my early stories were found on the fringes. I wrote about such topics the rise of women’s collegiate bowling (because it’s a cheap way to comply with Title IX), the tailgaiting scene at a Jackson State-Southern game (easily the day in my life in which I ate the most), and high school football in American Samoa, which was fascinating. Suffice to say it was the only time in my journalism career that I was interviewing someone, noticed a sudden breeze, and looked up to see the subject’s teenage daughter fanning me with a palm frond.
In 2007 I wrote a profile about Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez for SI’s Spanish language publication, and that story had an unexpected influence. I was at Colts minicamp and saw a quarterback I didn’t recognize throwing passes to linebackers during an interception drill. I looked down on my roster and saw this quarterback was actually the team’s punter, and became to ruminate about how much free time he had on his hands. The character of Nick “Hangman” Gallow began to take form in my imagination, if not quite yet on the page.
At the end of 2009 I left the SI staff, moved to Philadelphia and began to work on HANGMAN’S GAME in earnest, completing the novel while continuing to work for SI on special projects, mostly books and also single-topic newsstand issues—on fantasy football, the life of Arnold Palmer, that sort of thing.
In 2016 I married Jennifer Weiner. That was good. Hello, fans of Jen!
Thanks for visiting.