|Stuart Woods was born in the small town of Manchester, Georgia. His mother was a church organist, his father an ex-convict who left town when Woods was 2. He met his father only twice before he died while Woods was a senior at the University of Georgia. After living in Atlanta briefly and serving in the National Guard, Woods moved to New York with dreams of becoming a writer. He spent a decade there working at an advertising agency, after which he moved to London for three years, continuing in the same line of work. Woods then decided he needed to concentrate on writing the novel he had always dreamed of, so he moved to a secluded apartment in Galway, Ireland. Not halfway through the book, Woods became diverted once more, this time by a hobby he would continue to love throughout his life: sailing. He had a boat built with money his grandfather left him, and began sailing in numerous races, including the Fastnet Race in 1979, in which a severe storm claimed the lives of 19 people. Meanwhile, his first book, "Blue Water, Green Skipper", a nonfiction account of his sailing experiences, was published in England. This allowed him to get an advance to complete his first novel, "Chiefs", which eventually was published in 1981, after eight years in the writing. This novel marked the beginning of a highly successful writing career, especially after it was made into a television miniseries starring Charlton Heston. Stuart married for the first time in 1984 at the age of 47. Divorced in 1990, he moved from Atlanta to Sante Fe, where he met his second wife, Chris.