W. Michael Gear is a fourth generation Colorado native, his family had been involved in hard-rock mining, cattle ranching, and journalism. Michael graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1972 and pursued both his Bachelor's (1976) and Master's (1979) degrees at Colorado State University. Upon completion of his Master's - his specialty was in physical anthropology - he went to work for Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs as a field archaeologist.
It was in the winter of 1978 that he wrote his first novel. Irritated by historical inaccuracies in Western fiction, he swore he could do better. Beginning in 1981, Michael, along with two partners, put together his own archaeological consulting company. Pronghorn Anthropological Associates began doing cultural resource management studies in 1982, and, although Michael sold his interest in 1984, to this day the company remains in business in Casper, Wyoming. During the years, Michael has worked throughout the western United States doing archaeological surveys, testing, and mitigation for pipelines, oil wells, power lines, timber sales, and highway construction.
In all, Michael has published twelve novels under his own name and co-authored another seventeen with his wife Kathleen. His work runs the gamut from historical, to prehistorical, to science fiction, to modern thrillers. All of his work deals with some aspect of anthropological theory. His MORNING RIVER was nominated for the Pulitzer prize in fiction, and the National Book Award in 1998.