|Ted Bell is the author of the bestselling series of thrillers featuring counterspy Alexander Hawke. A native of Florida, Bell began writing short stories while in elementary school. "When, later, I discovered writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the romantic ideal of the writer's life appealed to me," he told one interviewer. Thus, upon graduating from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, he sailed for Europe, intending to write his first novel while living in France and Italy. "Unlike Scott Fitzgerald, I was not an overnight success," he confided. Needing to earn a living, he embarked on a career in advertising. He was soon the youngest vice president in the history of the New York-based agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, and in 1991 he became the worldwide creative director of the advertising powerhouse Young & Rubicam. In 2001, after winning a long string of the ad industry's highest honors, he retired to pursue his long-held ambition to publish a novel. Two years later HAWKE--which introduced his popular protagonist, a dashing former naval officer and presidential confidant--was published. In addition to his novels of espionage, Bell, inspired by his love of such classics as TREASURE ISLAND, has written a series of adventure tales for young readers. Confounding the expectations of those who consider him merely a writer of potboilers, he has been a writer-in-residence at Cambridge University as well as a visiting scholar at the school's Department of Political and International Relations.