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John Henley

About The Author

John Henley is a pen name. My real name is Eric Ridgley. I created the pen name based on the first name of my grandfathers – John Halsell and Henley Stephenson. I figured John Henley flowed better than Halsell Stephenson. Ha.


Why my grandfathers? Because family is everything to me. My characters, my stories, and the photos on the back of my books, it is always about family. I have a fantastic wife, and our story is incredible and head-scratching. Between the two of us, we have four children, all girls. As I only had sisters growing up, I am used to all the girl drama . . . at least I thought I was until the teenage years began in the house.


Back to my grandfathers. Grandpa Halsell was in the Army during WWII and the Korean war. My grandpa Stephenson was a mechanical engineer on the Manhattan Project. I knew nothing of their history as a child, and they both passed while I was a young man, but through the years, their sacrifices and service to our country spurred a want and willingness to create a similar path for myself.


I joined the Navy straight out of high school and went to submarine school. I ended up being interviewed for the Seawolf program, but delays in its launch meant I had to be sent off to “regular” service. I say that in jest. “Regular” service was excellent. Through my years on the USS Nevada, I made friends that I’m still close with to this day. There were many life lessons learned during my four short years in the military service, but I had to get out and go find my own path. Like most of us, I had no idea what that meant in my early twenties.


From Seattle, where I was stationed, with a quick stop in Oregon, I made my way east to Philadelphia and settled into life in a big city. The city grabbed me, especially the sports fanatics, and I have been a fan for over twenty years. I flew back to watch the Superbowl with my friends and go to the parade when the Eagles won. If you learn anything from me – when I’m in a crowd of people watching “my” sports teams, I am a very different person than in my day-to-day life. Going to Oregon Duck games at Autzen stadium (football), my wife calls me “Autzen Eric” because I become a different person. In all the good ways.


From Philadelphia, I moved to Washington D.C. and lived there for almost two decades. I made a good life by getting married and having a daughter. My work became more intense, traveling around the globe for months at a time, putting a strain on my marriage, which ended without any drama. My ex and I are friends and text often; she and her husband have even stayed at our house when visiting the west coast.


In those travels, I have spent approximately fourteen months in Afghanistan, up to six months at a time in Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and a few other places I’m not at liberty to divulge for the next twenty-ish years. I’ve done some enjoyable, exciting, dangerous, stupid, and mind-numbing things throughout life, which leads to being able to draw on those experiences in writing books.


Some of you know author Melody Anne. Her and I have known each other since eighth grade. She was one of my best friends – to the point of us walking together for graduation. We didn’t have social media when we graduated high school and lost touch as I began traversing the world. When she became a big-time author I had no clue, and it wasn’t until I came back to visit friends randomly that we reconnected, and I learned of her being soooooo cool. Do NOT ever tell her I actually said she was cool.


My last government contract had me working outside of Sacramento and when that was up my wife and I decided to move to Oregon. During that transition, Melody asked if I’d be interested in working with her as the head of Operations for her business. At the time, I didn’t want to simply because I didn’t want our friendship to be put under any strain due to professional hurdles that may arise. About six months later, we both agreed that we could get passed any work junk if we could make it through high school junk and still be friends all this time later.


Almost a year into us working together and storyboarding many book ideas, she asked me if I’d ever thought about writing my own books. My quick reaction was no, I didn’t think about it and wasn’t interested in it. She kicked me in the shins a few times, and before I knew it we were writing The Anderson: Special Ops books together. I had no clue how fun it could be or how stressful it was.


After finishing up the fifth book, I helped Roger Osborne with his book (Howl of the Wolf) and then decided that I should try to go out on my own and write a series myself (Military Might Series).


Melody and I no longer work together professionally but still write books together (Truth In Lies Series), and we probably always will. We both agree the amount of energy and number of ideas the two of us bounce off of the other is enough to keep us busy forever. I owe all of this to her, but I also owe a lot of it to you guys. If it wasn’t for each of you helping support this dream and vision, I don’t believe I’d still be here plugging away.


So – what’s next.

Military Might Series will get one to two books a year until I reach Zulu in the alphabet. 26 books, all based on military or first responders and how they impact all of our lives in one way or another.


Truth In Lies Series. This is harder to tell how far it will go. I know it will go to at least six books, but it is up to Melody and her writing schedule. For 2023 we are releasing two more in the series, but it could be three. I’ll know more as Melody and I meet to discuss our schedules for the following year.


Farrunner Chronicles. The fantasy series I am helping write with Roger L. Osborne is a lot of fun and a significant break from what I usually write. In the end, it is all about relationships and how to make them positive or negative within the pages we write. For now, it is set to be a three-book series, with book number two coming out in the next six to eight weeks. After that, it will be nine months to a year for the last book to publish.


All of my links can be found:

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Short Stories by the Author

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Books by the Author

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