Piers Anthony
Born August 6, 1934 (1934-08-06) (age 87)
Oxford, England
Occupation novelist, short story writer
Nationality USA
Period 1967 - Present
Genres science fiction, fantasy
Subjects Xanth books


Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England [1] is an English American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth.

Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. He has claimed that one of his greatest achievements has been to publish a book for every letter of the alphabet, from Anthonology to Zombie Lover.

Early life[]

Anthony's family immigrated to the United States from Britain when he was six. He graduated from Goddard College in Vermont in 1956.[2] He became a naturalized U.S. citizen while serving in the United States Army in 1958.[3] After completing a two year stint in military service, he briefly taught school at Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida before becoming a fulltime writer.[4]

Marriage and early career[]

Piers Anthony met his future wife, Carol Marble, while both were attending college. They were married in 1956, the same year he graduated from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont. After a series of odd jobs Piers Anthony decided to join the U.S. Army in 1957 for a steady source of income and medical coverage for his pregnant wife. He would stay in the Army until 1959; he became a U.S. citizen during this time. While in the army, he became an editor and cartoonist for the battalion newspaper. After leaving the army, he spent a brief stint as a public school teacher before trying his hand at becoming a full-time writer.

Anthony and his wife made a deal—if he could sell a piece of writing within one year, she would continue to work to support him. But if he could not sell anything in that year, then he would forever give up his dream of being a writer. At the end of the year, he managed to get a short story published. He credits his wife as the person who made his writing career possible, and he advises aspiring writers that they need to have a source of income other than their writing in order to get through the early years of a writing career.[5]


On multiple occasions Anthony has moved from one publisher to another (taking a profitable hit series with him), when he says he felt the editors were unduly tampering with his work. He has sued publishers for accounting malfeasance and won judgments in his favor. Anthony maintains an Internet Publishers Survey in the interest of helping aspiring writers.[6] For this service, he won the 2003 "Friend of EPIC" award for service to the electronic publishing community. His website won the Special Recognition for Service to Writers award from Preditors and Editors, an author's guide to publishers and writing services.[7]

Anthony was at one time an angel investor in Xlibris.[8] Many of his popular novel series have been optioned for movies. His popular series Xanth inspired a video game, Companions of Xanth, by Legend Entertainment for DOS. The series also spawned a board game called Xanth by Mayfair Games.

Anthony's novels usually end with a chapter-long Author's Note, in which he talks about himself, his life, and his experiences as they related to the process of writing the novel. He often discusses correspondence with readers and any real-world issues that influenced the novel.

Personal life[]

Anthony currently lives with his wife on a tree farm which he owns in Florida. He and his wife had two daughters, Penny and Cheryl, and have one grandchild, Logan.

On September 3, 2009, their daughter Penelope "Penny" Carolyn Jacob died from apparent respiratory paralysis following surgery for melanoma which had metastasized to her brain. She is survived by her husband and her daughter, Logan.[9]



  1. Anthony, Piers. Bio Of An Ogre, Ace Books, 1988. p 5
  2. Anthony, Piers. Bio Of An Ogre, Ace Books, 1988. p. 87
  3. Denney, Jim (2003). Quit Your Day Job!: How to Sleep Late, Do What You Enjoy, and Make a Ton of Money as a Writer!. Quill Driver Books. p. 24. ISBN 1-884956-04-1. 
  4. Anthony, Piers. Bio Of An Ogre, Ace Books, 1988. p. 284
  5. Anthony, Piers (1985). "Introduction to the story "Possible to Rue"" (Hardcover). Anthonology (1st ed.). New York, NY: Tom Doherty Associates. p. 10. ISBN 0-312-93027-5. 
  6. Internet Publishers Survey at hipiers.com
  7. Gogolewski, Kathe. "An Interview With Piers Anthony for the 2006 Muse Online Writers Conference." Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  8. Anthony, Piers (October 2000). "OctOgre 2000". Ogre's Den. Piers Anthony. http://www.hipiers.com/00oct.html. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  9. Anthony, Piers (October 2009). "OctOgre 2009". Ogre's Den. Piers Anthony. http://www.hipiers.com/09oct.html. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 

External links[]

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Piers Anthony.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Xanth, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.