Les Standiford is the author of 21 books, including the critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flalger and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean; Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America; Washington Burning: How a Frenchman’s Vision for Our Nation’s Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army; The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived our Holiday Spirits (a New York Times Editors Choice, adapted as a feature film in 2017). He is also the author of ten novels, including the acclaimed John Deal mystery series as well as the stand-alone thrillers Black Mountain and Spill (adapted as a feature film). He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and four of his non-fiction titles have been New York Times Best Sellers. He is Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami and was appointed holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Creative Writing at Eckerd College for the Spring of 2016. His latest book is Center of Dreams: Building a World-Class Performing Arts Complex in Miami (University of Florida Press), in which Standiford describes how one man’s moxie helped turn a fractious tropical city into a cultural capital of the Americas.