By Hugh Gardner

“Thus I set off on a 40-year odyssey that took me from one coast to the other, from Alaska to Patagonia.  I had surprising good luck and success in my early attempts at writing for publication….  Some of the things I wrote changed history, at least a little, but they never impressed my parents, stern advocates of steady government paychecks like theirs….  Gratifying but low-paying jobs in wildlife conservation, or writing fishing stories, didn’t please my parents either.”  

– Moon of the Popping Trees

This passage, excerpted from my award-winning essay written for the Ageless Authors Writing Contest, is an example of a family dynamic prevalent in America today.  This essay earned the Bivona Prize, the top award in last year’s competition, as well as first place in the category of Parents, For Better or Worse.

My current work continues more than 50 years of high-standard writing begun at two great public universities (UT/Austin, BS 65, UW/Madison, Ph.D. 76) that allowed me to publish in scientific journals and national magazines in my twenties.  In my thirties, I published my doctoral dissertation as a book (The Children of Prosperity, St. Martin’s Press) and became a ground-breaking investigative reporter for magazines like Esquire, Harper’s, New Times, and Rolling Stone, with dozens of published articles in local newspapers as well.

In my forties, I came to live by a quiet stream in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. I became an avid conservationist and published the regional Trout Unlimited magazine, Rocky Mountain Streamside, as well as writing dozens of stories about fly-fishing the West.   In my fifties, I became an internationally recognized aviation journalist, which gave me many travel opportunities for fishing adventures in faraway places like Alaska and South America.  I also wrote and produced video documentaries, one of which, Incredible Journey of the Greenback Cutthroats, was nominated for an Emmy.

In my sixties, I continued writing about my fishing adventures. Like most senior writers, I’ve lived a life that has given me much to write about. As the years go by, though, I’m steadily more focused on local and personal issues, and helping others tell their stories.  I’ve researched and written extensively about Colorado history, and edited manuscripts for Ancient America magazine that established the author as an authority in his field.  I saw to it that the novel Like Going Home was published before the author died.  Presently, I‘m working on a collection of my best fly-fishing stories, and focusing on helping others prepare manuscripts for publication.

That’s how I came to begin work with the members of Ageless Authors as a book doctor after participating as an entrant in the last writing contest.

My work with prospective authors happens at different levels, as we go through the process of fleshing out ideas and moving the writing process along.  If you have a valid idea, we can show you the pathway to a published work. If you already have a manuscript, you may need a book doctor just to care for the project. No matter the genre, my experiences can help to bring your project to life.  I can help you grow your title from idea to finished book, working with others at Ageless Authors through page layout and cover design, and even help plan marketing and promotion.

Many publishers overpromise and under deliver.   Ageless Authors will take on a few projects each year that interest us, usually older writers with compelling stories to tell to friends and family or a broad national audience. Our promise is to give custom expert attention to every client, and with scrupulous integrity, steer them toward a result that matches their goals.

The book doctor is in. To make an appointment to discuss your project, contact Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors, by email at or by calling 214 405-5093.

He knows where I live and work.