J. Matthew Saunders was born in the small Appalachian town of Clayton, Georgia and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. He received a B.A. in history from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree from the School of Journalism at the University of South Carolina. He also has a law degree from the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.

Matthew has been making up stories for as long as he can remember, an inclination he attributes to his upbringing in the American South, where storytelling is just part of everyday life. As someone pointed out to him, a Southerner can’t answer a question without rambling through the weather, Saturday’s football game, at least three decades of local history, someone else’s family tree, and what he had for lunch. Matthew doesn’t see anything wrong with that.

Matthew also believes being raised in the South, where history is always present, nurtured an abiding love for the subject, though his interests range a little farther, across the ocean, actually. He happily devours any book he can find on the history of the British Isles or the Balkans. And since many of the stories he heard growing up had to do with ghosts and other assorted things that go bump in the night, he developed an interest in folklore and superstition and the urge to put his own unique stamp on the stories about those things in the shadows.

He currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and two children.