This Texas Writer was born at Kilgore, Texas and went to public school at New London. With a degree in journalism from the University of Texas, he began his writing career as a reporter for the Ft Worth Star Telegram. His career moved forward when his talents in coaxing out the back story was discovered by Texas Governor John Connally who hired Pirtle as chief of media relations for the state’s first tourism branch, the Texas Tourist Development Agency. Decades of meeting people through travel has supplied fodder for the 75 books he has published. Today, he likes helping develop new authors through writer’s leagues across the state including the Silver Leos Writers Guild at Texas A and M University at Commerce, Texas. He scheduled a visit on the Good Morning Show with Enola Gay at our studios along the way.
Pirtle grew up in the Kilgore/Henderson area of East Texas among oil field workers who came from everywhere to man the oil boom. He always liked listening to the stories of people, especially older ones. Across the South he has found that people love to tell stories about their town, their work, their life, and if you listen long enough, their secrets. He describes his work as that of a “thief” because he takes the bits and pieces of other people’s lives, experiences and memories and weaves them into his stories, articles, teleplays and novels. “Everyone has a story if you just take time to listen”, says Pirtle. Though much of his decade as Travel Editor for Southern Living Magazine was about destinations, he most liked writing about the people he met along the way. He made the leap from conventional to digital publishing and today, his works are found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as on the shelves of bookstores and libraries around the world. His memoir “The Man Who Talks to Strangers: a Memoir of Sorts” was released in late 2017. Pirtle has launched a new mystery series set in the area of his birth, and the first book is called “Back Side of a Blue Moon”.
Aspiring writers are invited to attend a Writer’s Conference in March 2018 hosted by the Silver Leos Writers Guild, an organization open to alumni and non-alumni of TAMU Commerce. For more information, visit SLWG Facebook page.
CALEB PIRTLE III, vice president and editorial director for Dockery House Publishing in Dallas, is the award-winning author of more than thirty books. A former travel editor for Southern Living magazine, he has co-written two teleplays for CBS and has written for such publications as Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit, and Holiday. He’s the recipient of a Texas Associated Press Award, Small Press Book Award, and a Discover America Award.